Blake Hill Memorial Airport Hill Run

Date: 08/05/06
Time: 10:00am
Route: Blake Hill Memorial Airport Hill Run (view route)
Distance: 14.25
Dog: No
Notes: When Blake and I lived in Powell there was a race held each summer that he competed in twice. I was always out of town for Song Leading Camp, so he would run it by himself. I think he won his age group both times. The race started in downtown Powell and then went north of town and up the "Bench" (a bluff that surrounds Powell to the north) to the airport. I think the distance was about 8 miles and the last 1.5 were straight uphill.

When I was home this summer I thought for one of my training runs I'd give it a try. Cody was training for a triathlon, so he agreed to join me, as did Tina, however she wanted nothing to do with the hill and got a ride back to town after 5 miles.

We added a short amount of mileage to the beginning by heading west first so we could run up Road 10 which has less traffic than the actual race course. The weather was hot and we got a late start since we had to drive the course and leave Gatorade bottles every 2 miles--but they were appreciated.

Upon reaching the hill, I gained a new respect for my brother Blake. That hill ate my lunch. I don't think after running up it I would ever attempt it again but Blake did it twice. That guy is my hero and I've named this run after him.

Smartest Race I Ever Ran

Date: 06/10/06
Time: 8:00am
Route: Helvetia Half Marathon (view route)
Distance: 13.1 miles
Official Time: 1:56:54
Dog: No

Photo by Stephanie Neilan
As part of my training for the Portland Marathon with PortlandFit, I ran the Helvetia Half Marathon. A half marathon is 13.1 miles and before this race my longest training run was only 10 miles. I had also been a bit lax in my training runs compared to when I did PortlandFit 3 years ago. So, heading into the race I was a bit reserved about my expectations. In fact I was a little nervous. I knew that this would be a good measure of my progress and preparation for the big one coming in September.

Look here and you will see my name listed as the 122nd male finisher, with a time of 01:42:44.0 and an average mile pace of 7:50--that was my result 3 years ago. Not too bad, but I knew that I was in nowhere near that kind of shape this time.

Hoping to salvage a decent race, I choose to run with a couple of my friends who are also training for the marathon. My plan was to try and keep up with the fastest of them and hope for the best. I haven’t been training with a watch, so I didn’t really know what kind of pace I could maintain, but I figured something around 9 or 9:10 minute miles would be doable.

It turns out a 9 minute pace was almost exactly what Tiffany Housely was running and we settled into a nice groove. She was a great companion and offered not only a comfortable pace, but an interesting conversation as well, which, as anyone who runs knows, can help to make the miles sneak by.

What I did remember about this race from a few years ago was a stretch in the middle that sucked.

See that elevation chart? There’s nothing but hills for 4 miles, right in the middle of a 13 mile race. Well, the comfortable pace suited me, because when we got to the hills I hardly felt my effort level increase and then we were through them. Sure mile 5 was clocked at 9:45, but it is nothing but a big hill!

After the big peaks, there were only a couple of miles of slightly rolling hills, followed by 4 flat miles—and I’ve been comfortably running, actually saving myself to finish strong. In my limited racing

Photo by Stephanie Neilan
experience, that was a first. When we passed the marker for mile 10 I was able to drop the hammer and increased my pace by 60 seconds a mile. Unheard of for me. I’m usually the guy who’s being passed by everyone at the end as I try to claw my way to the finish.

Add to all of this some good food and water management during the race and I easily ran the smartest race of my career.

Mile Splits:
  1. 9:11
  2. 9:19
  3. 9:00
  4. 9:03
  5. 9:44
  6. 8:58
  7. 9:22
  8. 8:52
  9. 8:58
  10. 9:17
  11. 7:56
  12. 7:33 <--Wah Hoo!
  13. 7:48
(More pics of me and my friends at the Helvetia Half Marathon, courtesy of photographer Stephanie Neilan)


Date: 06/01/06
Time: 9:00am
Route: My house up to Glisan then down to 139th for a loop over to Burnside. Came home via 172nd and cut across the school yard to avoid Halsey.
Length:5mi (view)
Dog: Yep
Notes: Fourth Thursday in a row for this route.

Take me to the river

Date: 06/06/06
Time: 8:30am
Route: 2 loops at the dog park with the new spur
Length:4.85mi (view)
Dog: Yep
Notes: Pushed a little further out the spur and probably, got this to 5 miles.

9 miles

Date: 06/03/06
Time: 10:00am
Route: Took my usual 5 mile route and then picked up the dog for 4 more.
Length:9mi (view)
Dog: Yep
Notes: 4 mile out and back with dog was on the bike path along side I84. We only saw one bike, so I let Sinopah run off-leash.

It was hot. I got a little de-hydrated and felt sick for a couple of hours after the run. A home remedy of 1 tablspoon of water every 5 minutes, got me feeling better.


Date: 06/01/06
Time: 7:00pm
Route: My house up to Glisan then down to 139th for a loop over to Burnside. Came home via 172nd and cut across the school yard to avoid Halsey.
Length:5mi (view)
Dog: Yep
Notes: Third Thursday in a row for this route. Didn't get up early enough to run in the am, so we ran after work. It sprinkled on us off and on, but I remembered my Body Glide, so everything was good.

First run in a new pair of shoes and they feel amazing! I don't know why I wait so long to get new shoes, they feel so good. The shoe manufactures talk about a comfortable ride and it always seems like marketing hooey, but these guys have a nice ride. There is no other way to describe it. The transition from heel to toe just feels good. They did cause a bit of discomfort for about .5 a mile at mile 3 in my left shin and right knee. Probably from that new comfy ride being just different enough from my old broke ride that it irritated my gait. Every thing was good for the lat 2 miles, but I'll keep you posted if I have more issues.

Tuesday Morn

Date: 05/30/06
Time: 8:30am
Route: 2 loops at the dog park with a new spur added to one of the loops
Length:4.85mi (view)
Dog: Yep
Notes: Need to make this route longer so I added a spur to the 2nd lap. Not quite 5. I'll do some more experimenting and get the milage where I want it.


Date: 05/25/06
Time: 8:50am
Route: My house up to Glisan then down to 139th for a loop over to Burnside. Came home via 172nd and cut across the school yard to avoid Halsey.
Length:5mi (view)
Dog: Yep
Notes: Same 5 mile loop as last Thursday. Nice weather and a good run.

Ill Prepared

Date: 05/23/06
Time: 8:30am
Route: 2 loops at Sinopah's favorite park
Length:3.9mi (view)
Dog: Yep
Notes:On Sunday afternoon the rain returned to my town. This occurrence is not unusual, nor is it unwelcome. It keeps the grass green and the evenings cool. However, it changes the way I need to prepare for training runs.

Enjoying the freedom that a sport with minimal, required accoutrement's affords, I rarely think about more than my shoes, socks, shorts, and technical tee. If it is cold I wear a long sleeves, if warm I go for short sleeves. I only wear a hat when it is sunny or rainy. Simple. Just the way I like it.

I knew that it would be raining pretty heavily on today's run so I grabbed a hat to keep the drips out of my eyes. What I failed to plan for was the transformation the water would create in my t-shirt. When technical fabrics get wet they become abrasive and heavy. No longer light and friction-free, my shirt began assaulting the most sensitive part of my chest. Each step brought new pain and I was forced to run the final 3 miles holding my shirt away from my body.

The silly thing is, on longer runs I plan for this unpleasantness and use a lubricant to keep things from loosing skin. But not today.

Didn't ever get as bad as the guy in this picture, but I was not happy.