Tag Archives: virtual racing

#150 – Star Trek 50th Anniversary 5k

Yesterday was the Golden Anniversary of the premiere of Star Trek, and I could think of no better way to celebrate than running.

Trek was a huge part of my childhood.  I don’t remember watching it during it’s run on NBC, but by the time the animated series began in 1973, I was already a huge Star Trek fan.  This was due, in large part, to James Blish’s short story adaptations of the original series episodes.  I’d gobble those up as soon as they hit the spinning book stand at the 7-11 I’d walk to.

The first episodes of Star Trek that I can remember watching were in Florida.  My grandparents lived on a little island west of Ft. Myers, and when se’d visit, we’d turn the antenna toward Tampa, and watch Trek in syndication from there.  I even recorded the audio with a little cassette recorder, holding the microphone up to the speaker, so I could listen to a few episodes over and over.  Because of that, there were a few episodes I could almost quote, word for word.

When I was approaching my teens, WTVC in Chattanooga started showing the original episodes, and finally I was able to watch episodes on my own turf.  The rest, as they say, is history… multiple television series, movies and books later, and I’m still a fan.

So yesterday, on the Golden Anniversary of it’s first airing, I tackled the 50th Anniversary 5k.  It was a day filled with rain, keeping the temperatures down.  I went out shortly after work, and after the rain.  Despite the heavy clouds, the humidity started to really climb as the rainfall evaporated.  With temps in the low 70s, it was still pretty easy to run, so run I did, putting another 3¼ miles in the books.

This event benefitted the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

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#140 – Orlando United 5K

5km VirtMuch like the shootings in Paris last year, the shootings in Orlando hit me hard.  Orlando is the city of my birth, and frankly, it was once again on home turf.

A day or so after the attack, I got wind of a race being held in Orlando to help raise funds to help folks in the area who were affected by this awful event.  That was June 15th.

In just about 24 hours, all the “live event” spots — 1300 of them — were sold.  Fortunately, they also had a virtual leg to this race, and I quickly signed up.  So did about 2000 other people.  I’ve never heard of an impromptu race going from concept to sell-out so quickly.  It certainly props up my faith in humanity, and once again, makes me proud to count myself as a part of the running community.

Yesterday was hot here in Da Lou.  Really hot.  I know the map below says 90°, but what I saw was closer to 95° with a heat index close to 105°.  Frankly, it was stupid to be out in that, but I knew I needed to get this one done, so out I went.

Pretty quickly, I knew the heat was on me, and I realized I was gonna finish, but it’d be ugly.  On my way out of the neighborhood, I came across a neighbor who is a much better runner than me.  He told me he only made it two miles before having to head for home.  That didn’t bode well for me!

The route I’ve been enjoying lately has started to undergo some construction, so I played around with my route a bit.  Yesterday probably wasn’t the best day to do that.  And, by the time I’d gone a couple of kilometers, my dogs were barking, with the sense that I was growing a blister on the back of my right heel.  This has been an ongoing problem over the last couple of weeks, and I haven’t yet been able to track down what’s causing it all of a sudden.

I slogged through my route, and worked through the pain, coming closer and closer to the end of my route.  As I turned back into the neighborhood, that same neighbor was driving out of the neighborhood, and stopped to talk.  I told him how far I’d gone, and was I pleased that I was able to keep my feet on the street longer than him.

As it ends up, I probably shouldn’t have done this run yesterday.  The sun really affected me, sapping my energy for the rest of the day, and having some significant physical impact from all that heat.  Normally, I feel great after a run, but yesterday wasn’t one of those days.

Still, I got it done, muscling through the discomfort and the sweaty St. Louis summer day.  I’m proud that I have found the mental strength to learn how to pound through conditions like these — that’s not to be confused with the wisdom, however, to be smart about getting out there in the first place!!!!

This event was sponsored by Final Mile Race Management and benefitted the One Orlando Fund.  Last I heard, over $110,000 was raised by this event for the fund.

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#118 – Terminate Cancer 5K

5km VirtFriday night, I got back on the trail, and ran the Greenway for the first time in weeks.  I’d taken two weeks off after Gasparilla with a terrible cold, and after my escapades in Chattanooga last weekend, I gave myself another week off to heal my blisters.  I’d been itching to go run, and it was time.

Strapping on my Hoka’s, I headed off to the trail.  I knew I wasn’t going for speed, this was just to clear my head, and comfort my soul.  And run, I did.  (And Yoda, I am, apparently.)  It was glorious out there, and I pushed through, running most of my familiar 5K course, and only walking a bit.

But once again, the toe box on my right foot starting impacting my “Tulsa toe,” and I found myself finishing with some discomfort on my right foot, and a little post-blister party on the bottom of my left foot.  To say I was unhappy is an understatement.

Yesterday, I trekked off to Fleet Feet to talk with them about new shoes.  I’d had no issues whatsoever with blisters until I went to the Hoka’s, and I was beginning to believe they just didn’t fit my feet or style correctly.  That’s a crying shame, as I really love the cushion they provide!  I explained what had been going on since November’s trip to Tulsa, and the look on my shoe fitter’s face told me that I was likely guessing right.  I had a shoe fit issue.

She brought out a couple of pairs of Nike Vomero’s, which is what I’d run in since I started this craziness four years ago, along with a pair of New Balance 1080’s.  I ran a little in each, and came home with the New Balance shoes.   We’ll see how those work over longer, real distances.

I mentioned that I needed to comfort my soul with a run.  On Tuesday, cancer took another life close to me — this time, a wonderful co-worker, and guy just three months younger than me.  Yesterday, Darla and I went to the visitation for him.  I’m just sick over this, and it brings up all the “how’d I escape?” questions from the muck inside me.  That’s an answer I’ll never know, but I know that I can run, and as long as I can run, I’ll continue to raise money for fighting cancer.

This race benefitted the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

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#110 – Give Warm, Get Warm 5K

For folks that either regularly follow me on Canapeel, or who have endured the cross-postings on either Facebook or Twitter, you’ve probably been wondering where all the race details have gone?  Well, they haven’t gone away, and proof of that is right here!  🙂

I’ve mentioned before that I’m taking on the inaugural St. Louis Triathlon in May.  It’s made up of a 750m swim (in Creve Coeur Lake), a 20km bike ride, and a 5km run.  The great thing about the ride and run is that they are gonna be on very flat courses.  Now, I know I have the run down — easy peasey.  I still don’t have a place to really practice the swim, but I found a place to practice my cycling.

I’ve been going down to Route 66 State Park on the weekends to ride.  The park is dead flat, and has some paved paths, as well as gravel trails.  It’s wonderful to ride on, and isn’t too terribly crowded.  I’ve been able to work on some speed there, and my goal is to start “practicing” both the ride and run very soon.

This park has a really ugly history.  There used to be a town here — Times Beach — which was a little community right on the Meramac River.  It was poisoned with dioxin in the 1970s, and was the largest civilian exposure to that chemical.  I was largely oblivious to the story of TImes Beach (since I grew up 500 miles from here, and was a child when this was happening), and reading the story now, it’s fascinating.

Nowadays, the area is safe to be in, and is a wonderful place to go ride and run.  It’s a great practice route for my upcoming triathlon, too!

So, that explains the apparent absence from my running exploits.  Last Friday, however, I returned to the roads, and got a simple walk under my feet.  With the sunset getting later and later, there’s finally enough time after work to get a run or walk in before dark.  It was chilly Friday night — about 40° — but with the sun shining as it set, it was warm enough to get some miles behind me.

I explored parts of our neighborhood that I’ve never been in — mostly cul de sacs — and racked up the distance pretty quickly, without exposing myself to traffic on the “big roads” around us.  A few kilometers into the course, I decided to walk to the neighborhood bike shop, Trailhead Bicycles, to get some cycling gloves.  I have some old  gloves from many years ago, but they’re heavy, and frankly have an awful stank that likely will never be removed.  So, I returned to the site of my Kona purchase, and found some terrific padded, lightweight gloves that I think’ll do the trick.

By the time I got close to home, the sun had set, and darkness was descending.  It was a great time of night to be out and about, and I get to put another medal on the shelf.  Woot!

This race benefitted Agent Outerwear’s Giving Event.

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Race #80 – Veteran’s Day 5K

Tonight, I ran the Veteran’s Day 5K.  Yeah, I know that Veteran’s Day is tomorrow, but we’ve got heavy weather coming in tomorrow, and I knew I wouldn’t get to do this race on time.

I decided to return to an old course of mine, taking me through the neighborhood.  One of the things that drove me away from this route a while back is a huge hill right at the turnaround point.  That hill is still there, and it’s still awful to climb.  But, climb it I did, and even on this tougher course, I still was under my goal time.

I am thankful to live in a country where I am free to chase after crazy dreams like the running I pursue.  I am proud to have served my country in the US Air Force, and to have a brother, father and grandfather who served in the military as well.

If you’re a veteran, I hope you have a great Veteran’s Day.  If you’re not, shake the hand of a vet, and tell ’em, “Thanks.”

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Race #79 – Honoring Those Who Served 5K

Yesterday, I ran yet another 5k virtual race.  As we approach Veteran’s Day, there’s been a bunch of veterans related virtual races, and I’ve glommed on to a few to run over the next couple of weeks.

Once again, I went into this run at lunch just planning to walk, with the occasional trot thrown in for good measure.  As it ends up, I started chugging along at that aforementioned good little trot, and in short order found myself way down the trail, and heading back to the Jeep.

It’s still astounding to me to see how far I’ve come this year.  I’ve really committed to running this year.  What used to be goals I only reached once a year, are now finishing times I achieve the vast majority of the time.  If you’d told me a year ago that I’d regularly take on the 5k distance, and complete it under 50 minutes, I would’ve thought “no way.”  Well there is a way, and I’ve apparently discovered that way.

I think it’s just heart and determination.  It doesn’t hurt that I’m enjoying the chase for the medals, and loving how running makes me feel.  Those things are just gravy.  🙂

This race benefitted the Bob Woodruff Foundation.

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Race #76 – Back to the Future 5K

There were a bunch of races around October 21st, celebrating the day Marty McFly was to have arrived in the future.  Alas, Marty never showed up.  Hate it when that happens.

Along the way, I ran into a race that was a true trip backwards in time.  The plan was to start the race November 1st, around 1:45am, and run through the time change, and you’d finish before you started.  Cool.

Unfortunately, I don’t really have a place where I can run in the middle of the night, so I had to run the race this morning.  Once again, the Greenway was my target.

I planned to run a little father this morning, building on the success from Friday, and get to the end of the trail, at the photography studio on Pond Road.  Just like Friday, I got on the trail, and everything felt right.  I ran a ton, and walked a little, and after getting back to the Jeep, I had a painless 6km in the books.

On Friday, I found a running gear I didn’t know I had, and that led to a PR.  This morning, I found a “cruising gear” — right around 9:30min/km — that was incredibly comfy to use to just motor along.

Yet another really good morning on the trail!

This race benefitted the Michael J Fox Foundation.  The guy who spun up this race, Jimmy Choi, has a great story, and you can read about it here.  Jimmy’s running the NYC Marathon today, and I wish him luck.  For me, this fight is personal, as my grandfather suffered from Parkinson’s late in his life, and I ran this morning in memory of him.

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Race #74 – I Ain’t Afraid 5K

Saturday was a tough run day.  Remember?  I was totally unmotivated, but got out there anyway.  That’s what you do.

Today was a beautiful day for a run!  57° when I started, and all the sun a fella could ask for.  And, I knew I had to get this in today.  Two weeks off just killed me, and I had to get some footfalls-upon-pavement to get back in stride.  It is, after all, only FOUR WEEKS until my first half marathon at the Route 66 in Tulsa.

And I ran.  And I walked.  Probably more walking than I’m accustomed to lately, but that’s just getting my dang gray matter into the game again.  What’s cool is that I had some long stretches of hoofing it at a decent pace — my first kilometer was under 9min, which is just peachy with me.  That’s not a sustainable pace for me, shy of a major downhill with some serious tailwinds, but it was nice to show my brain that it wasn’t the boss of my run.

The new shoes are working wonderfully, btw.  These Hoka One One’s just rock.  I simply cannot get over how much better they feel than my Nike’s.  I’ll definitely be pounding the drum over these for a while.

At the end of the run, I was sub-50, which last year would’ve been cause for celebration.  Now, it’s kinda average for me, a little above, a little below.  And that’ll mean I’m shooting for something a little faster next year.  How about 45min???

This race benefitted the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

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Race #73 – Day of the Dead Dash 2 5K

Yesterday, I simply didn’t wanna run.  I mean, not only did I not wanna run, I didn’t wanna get out the house.  It was chilly and overcast — which typically I love — which for some reason was just making me not wanna do it.

So, I tricked myself.

I took it one step at a time, and put on my running shorts.  I futzed around the house a little, and put on a running shirt.  A little while later, running socks and my new running shoes found their way to my feet, and by then, I had no excuses.  To the Greenway I went.

By  design, I only set out to walk.  I’m still trying to figure these shoes out, and I don’t wanna do something silly while I’m breaking them in. And walk I did, five kilometers of it.

What’s kinda interesting is that I notice that when I walk, it seems like the distance takes forever.  Now, my jogging speed is only about 60-90 secs/km faster than my walk speed — I don’t stress up too much on speed.  🙂  However, when I jog or run, my brain gets fooled, and it thinks the distance is going by much faster.  So, on a day when I didn’t even wanna go out, I muscled through a walk that felt like it took forever.

I’ve said this a lot — done is done.  And I was happy to put more miles under my feet and on the new shoes!

This race benefitted Agent Outerwear’s Giving Event.

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Race #62 – Beat the Blerch 5K

What a difference a day makes!

Last year, at the Hospital Hill 5K, I saw someone sporting a shirt that read “I Believe in The Blerch”.  I had no idea what that meant, so I hit up Uncle Google when I got done, and found a webcomic about The Blerch.  Essentially, it’s the amalgamation of everything that sabotages your running.

There are “in person” Beat the Blerch races on both coasts, but they’ve added a virtual, and I couldn’t resist jumping in.  It’s kinda pricey, but you get a medal, shirt, real bib, stress ball, snacks, stickers… a Blerchucopia of goodies.  🙂

Last night, I committed to running my Blerch race, and this morning, when the Sun started to peek out, I got up.  We’d had thunderstorms come through over night, so this morning, instead of facing 75° and icky humidity, it was about 64°, sunny, and slightly windy.  Great conditions!

I took off, westward, with the Sun at my back, and enjoyed some quick splits, and hit the halfway point, turning around into the Sun.  it was around this time that I decided to try another energy packet.

Last weekend, I tried a Gu root beer pack, and liked it quite a bit.  This morning, I took a Huma mango gel with me.  Unlike the root beer, this stuff was nasty.  I love mangoes, but this was pretty awful tasting stuff.  Of course, YMMV.  Part of what I’m having to learn to get past is the texture of some of these.  The root beer Gu was like the stuff you squeeze out of a bug, and this Huma was like baby food.  Frankly, the texture may be the thing that drives to using one brand versus another!

All that said, another 5k is in the books, early in the day, leaving me with the rest of the day to fight the Blerch!

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