Posts Tagged With: hills

Rock n Roll Dallas Half Marathon Recap – New PR & I Beat Deena Kastor!

Yay, we did it!

We did it, you guys!

Yes, I set another PR, but I’ll get to that. First, let me start at the beginning ~

Like a lot of big races, this one had an expo where we have to go to pick up our bibs. So that’s what I did.

A pretend finish line at a real expo.

A pretend finish line at a real expo.

I saw a lotta friends there, which was good. Tho some of them didn’t notice me at first…

Photobombing like a BOSS!

Photobombing like a BOSS!

But I gotta say, the RnRDal expo has gotten really small over the years. There were not a lot of vendors. I wonder what’s going on there???

Anyway, the next morning some friends met up earrrrrrly to carpool down.

The carpool gang.

The carpool gang. We hang out under bridges and terrorize the city folk.

Since the race route had separate start & end points, we parked near the finish and then had to heel-toe it across town to the start.

The carpool gang roaming the foggy streets of Dallas.

The carpool gang roaming the foggy streets of Dallas.

When we got there, we were waaay early. So we did like a buttload of other runners and kept warm (and off our feet) inside the Omni Hotel.

Chilaxing wide shot.

Chilaxing wide shot.

It’s nice of the hotel to let us destroy their restrooms politely sit on their floors like that. Shout out to Omni!

Chilaxing close up.

Chilaxing close up.

After a while, it was finally time to race! So we shed extra layers, dropped off our gear bags, then went to the corrals. I was in corral 1 – yippee! The horn sounded, and we were off!

Here we come!

Here we come! Lots of interesting outfits here.

The weather was decent. In the 50’s, and somewhat humid. But the rain had stopped a few hours before the race, and it felt cool.

I will rise above, thanks street artist.

I will rise above, thanks street artist.

I had a ton of friends not only running this race, but also cheering and volunteering at aid stations. So great to see so many peeps along the course!

Hey, my form looks pretty good here. I'll take it!

Hey, my form looks pretty good here. I’ll take it!

A bonus of having friends along the course is they were able to take some of the pics you see here. Tho sometimes they didn’t see me until I was going past.

I swear I was waving at my friend and not flipping the bird.

I swear I was waving at my friend and not flipping the bird.

Warning ~ Mild Rant Here

The course itself was just ok with me. I do not understand local race directors obsession with having us run through West Dallas. I know they think it’s cool to have us cross some of the bridges over the Trinity River, but it comes at a cost of us passing MANY bail bond shops, car impound lots, etc. Not the best way to show off Dallas.

I boycotted this race last year because they had dropped their charity and were strictly for-profit. That, and I thought the quality had gone downhill year after year. Part of that quality is the on-course entertainment. There was not a lot of crowd support. And for a race that bills itself as “Rock n Roll”, there were hardly any bands along the course. Speaking of which, why is it they always seem to be taking a break when you run past?

And I already mentioned the disappointing expo, but people were also disappointed with the medals. They were very small and kind of uninspired. What gives RnRDAL?

Warning ~ Mild Rant Over

Runnin over a bridge.

Runnin over a bridge.

Other than that, the course was nice….except for the hills! They threw in a few doozies. Especially towards the end.

Ugh.

Ugh.

I felt pretty good during this race. I never even wanted to stop and walk (well, I might have wanted to on that last hill – but didn’t!), I never drank anything at the aid stations, & I didn’t even eat my Gu. I was never completely uncomfortable during this race. That’s good, because it means I can go faster!

rnrd7

Proof that I ran the race.

I don’t know why I felt so good. Could be that everything just fell into place. However, I did do one thing different that morning…I drank UCAN.

My new BFF.

Just a couple of BFF’s.

They are one of Meb’s sponsors. When I met him back in December, they gave us a free sample. I decided to try it before this race. I need to do more experimenting to see if it really works that well for me, or if it was a fluke!

Back to the race ~

It finished outside American Airlines Center, which is where the Mavericks & Stars play. If you’ll recall, I ran a fun 5k at the same spot back in the fall. Here’s the recap.

rnrd5

Flying to the finish.

Finally, I passed by the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders who were dancing near the end and finished the race! New PR! WooHoo!

The stats.

The stats.

This was my first race since turning 40 earlier in the week. I was probably the youngest in my age group. Hahaha, I guess it’s not any easier than the 35-39 age group. I was in the top 6% overall, but only top 13% in my division. Ahh well.

Oh, and one cool feather in my cap is now I can officially say I beat Deena Kastor in a race. She was there pacing the 1:45 group. But officially, it will go down in the record books as me finishing ahead of her. Hahaha!

Anywhoodle, at the finish area I saw a bunch more friends!

Some friends.

Some friends.

And then it was time for the post-race party. I was excited because Eric Hutchinson was the headliner. I actually like some of his music.

The party was ok. They gave us one free Mich Ultra beer. To me, MU is like drinking water. Not much flava. And if you wanted more than one, then you had to shell out $6 a piece. HAHAHAHAHAHA…No thanks!

Our one free beer.

Our one free beer. Celebrating the many PR’s set this day by the members of the Carpool Gang.

So we left to go get brunch and margaritas at a TexMex joint. But before we did, I got in one last 6 second video of the party.

So there it is, another half marathon in the books. And yay for the PR!!!

How bout you? Ever raced without stopping or drinking/eating anything along the way? Are you scared of the Carpool Gang? Did you race this weekend?

-Scott

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Categories: expo, fitfluetial, Life Times, Race Recaps, run, Running | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 44 Comments

Hot Chocolate 15k Recap – Trains, Hills, & a New PR!!!

The Dallas Hot Chocolate 15k was my 2nd ever race at that distance. And I’m glad to report that it went much better than the first one. In fact, I earned my shiny chocolate themed medal by running a new PR!

The medal looks like a chocolate bar, but it tastes like victory.

The medal looks like a chocolate bar, but it tastes like brass.

There was supposed to be sold out with 13,000 total people running the 5k and 15k races. That means a lot of traffic getting to the event. Luckily my friend, Jewely talked me into taking the train down with friends rather than drive.

Of course we needed a pic on the choo choo.

Of course we needed a pic on the choo choo.

We definitely saved a lot of time and stress by taking riding the rail. All we had to do was sit there and watch the world go by.

You can't take a selfie around us without getting photobomed, duh!

You can’t take a selfie around us without getting photobomed, duh!

As we got closer to the race, the train got more and more crowded. We were lucky to have gotten on at an earlier stop, when seats were still available.

Train's getting full. Luckily they had stripper poles to hold on to.

Train’s getting full. Luckily they had stripper poles for people to hold on to.

The temps that morning were in the mid-40’s, but with a 10-15 mph wind it felt like 35 degrees!!! So when we got to the event, we stayed warm before the race by staying indoors!

B4 da race. I never understood arm sleeves. Are they for people that don't care about cold shoulders?

B4 da race. I never understood arm sleeves. Are they for people that don’t care about cold shoulders?

The 5k started first. But due to traffic and such, people were late. The race was nice enough to wait for them, but that also meant the 15k would start like 15 minutes late. It was not fun standing in the cold waiting for the starting horn to blow! But eventually, we were off!

My run buds Clay and Dawn were on the course cheering. Clayton got this shot of me. Dueces!

My run buds Clay and Dawn were on the course cheering. Clayton got this shot of me. Dueces!

The course itself was TOUGH – lotsa hills! Most people don’t think of Dallas as hilly, but this race made sure to find as many as they could!

At mile 5ish, we had about a pretty steep incline for about half a mile. At the top of the hill, some spectators had set up a whiskey station to give shots to the runners. Haha, with the pain I was feeling, I was tempted to take one, but decided to plug along instead.

The red parts are my slowest sections, coincidentally, they were also on big hills.

The red parts are my slowest sections, coincidentally, they were also on big hills. Ha, when I saw that hill around mile 8 after turning the corner, I dropped a few choice words aloud!

And can I just say, I love the support of the running community. Towards the end of the race, a few of us strangers started encouraging each other with words of encouragement. It helped us finish strong!

You can watch a short video of my and my new besties crossing the finish line BY CLICKING HERE!

I wanted to run a sub 7:40 mile pace, and I did!!! ~ 7:39 per mile ~ a full 20 seconds faster per mile than my last 15k! That came out to more than a 2 minute PR!hcAlso, I’ve said this before, but I hate my age group. I finished in the top 3% overall, but in the top 15% of my age group. Grrrr, I can’t wait to get to a new age group next month!!!

After da race with our sweet rewards.

After da race with our sweet rewards.

After the race, they had a fun little after-party going on with a DJ, chocolate treats, etc. Here’s a 6 second video recap I made:

To be honest, I don’t have much of a sweet tooth, so all the chocolate was a bit too much for me to handle. But on the way home I decided there should be some celebrating with a grown-up treat…

Now were talkin.

A chocolate stout still counts as chocolate, right?

In the end, I was sassified with the results – especially considering the wind, hills, & not knowing how to pace this distance. And most importantly, it was a fun time!

How bout you? LIke that bling? Gotta sweet tooth or a beer tooth? Ever ride a choo choo train?

-Scott

Categories: fitfluetial, Race Recaps, run, Running | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 35 Comments

Runnin Hill Repeats…Oh, & My New Emmy Nominations!

I’m proud to say that we’re nominated for two more Emmy’s this year, but I’ll get to that…

At last year's Emmy's. That's #6 I've won so far. Honored!

At last year’s Emmy’s. That’s #6 I’ve won so far. Honored!

But first…I noticed on a couple runs recently that I was really struggling whenever we came to a hilly sections. So what’s the solution? To go run up and down hills of course…doy!

I realized that a while back I had replaced my weekly hill repeat workout with a track workout. This reminded me that I need to mix up my workouts more often. So I went and ran some hill repeats…Fun!

To be honest, I really do kind of like hill repeats. Sick, I know.

To be honest, I really do kind of like hill repeats. Sick, I know.

Since I’ve reincorporated the hill repeats, I have noticed them getting easier on my long runs. Nice to see results!

Now for the Emmy news…Here’s the Nomination Announcements:

Booja!

Booja…

...Kashaw!

…Kashaw!

I’m lucky to have such talented people to work with on these videos. (I’m including photos below in case Jason doesn’t believe that I actually know these people.)

Like my pal David Chicken.

At a music video shoot.

At a music video shoot.

And my buddy Ashley Kamrath.

At last year's Emmys.

At last year’s Emmys.

And of course my crazy amigo Flula.

We are two wild and crazy guys.

We are two wild and crazy guys.

Oh, and here’s a bonus pic of me, Ashley and Flula at a video shoot at the Texas state capital building.

Keep Austin Weird.

Keep Austin Weird.

So here’s hoping. Please cross your fingers for us!

If you want to watch the videos that are nominated, you can see the ‘Play’ music video HERE and the ‘Rec X’ episode HERE.

Until the gala comes, I’ll be out there runnin the streets and all the hills! Boojakashaw!

How bout you? Been runnin any hills? Ever hang out with YouTubing German DeeJays? Ever dance with a grown man in a chicken hat and cape?

-Scott

Categories: fitfluetial, Life Times, run, Running, Video Work | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 50 Comments

The Loop 15k Race Recap

I’ve been very diligent about my training for the Disney Dopey Challenge.  Running four races in four consecutive days will be a new experience, and I want to be smart about it.  Add to that the hefty registration fee, results in me not doing any races lately.  But not racing for several months makes a PirateBobcat go a bit nutso.  Not to mention it’s good to break up training now and again with a race.  This not only serves as a barometer of your status, but also helps you practice racing.  And of course, they’re fun!

This past Saturday I decided to race The Loop 15k by the Dallas Running Club.  Here’s why I chose it: I had some friends doing it, the weather was finally supposed to cool off, it fit into my training schedule, and the registration fee was only $10!  Also, I had never run a 15k, so instant PR! 

They call this race The Loop, because it takes you on one loop of White Rock Lake.  It’s a very popular running and biking spot in Dallas.  It’s where I go to do my long runs as the lake is about 8.9 miles around.  There are also a few detours to make add distance.  This race had to add a detour because we needed to get to 9.3 miles to complete the 15k.  I know, right, why aren’t we on the metric system, except for races?  Haha!

The start/end was at Winfrey Point.  I assume named for Oprah.

The start/end was at Winfrey Point. I assume named for Oprah.

My last several half marathons have been run at around an 8:12 per mile pace.  My goal after the Dopey is to get faster and the next step is to run 8:00 min miles in a Half.  I secretly hoped I could do that in this 15k.  I thought that hope was out the window when I arrived though because the weather was not cool like the weather dude promised.  It was in the low 80’s with 90% humidity.  It was swampy.  I did a quick warm up before the race and was absolutely drenched with sweat.  But a funny thing happened when the gun sounded – I was able to finish with a pace UNDER 8 min miles!  Here’s what had happened…

Before the race I started chatting with a dude who was new to running.  He was asking me all sorts of questions about it, which I was happy to answer.  This guy is younger and looked like he was in pretty good shape, but this race would be a new experience for him.  Also, at the start line I saw one of my running buddies – Lea.  She’s a great runner who is getting ready for the Houston and Boston Marathons.  I decided to try and keep up with her despite the weather.  My new friend decided to try and keep up with me despite his newness.  We did all stay together until about mile 7 when we hit some hills.  Not nice hills either.  They actually hit me pretty hard, and I fell off the pace a bit.  But my two friends did great and finished just ahead of me.  Lea even got 2nd place in her age group.   

I finished in 1:13:48.  Good enough for 8th in age group and 60th overall out of 512.  I was really happy with this.  Especially considering the weather, and especially considering that I took a few walk breaks through water stations (and part way up the last nasty hill).  The conditions were so bad that I had to briefly stop at one point and tighten the belt lace in my running shorts because they were so heavy with sweat that they kept falling down, and I didn’t want to have a wardrobe malfunction on the course – especially in case a race photographer was around! 

Say ahhhhhh!

Say ahhhhhh!

There was also a 5k race that I had some friends in.  In both the 5k and 15k, my other friends did great in their races too!  It was tough out there and I’m proud of them all!  One friend even got 1st in his 5k age group! 

But here’s the thang – about 15 minutes after I finished my run, the skies opened up and it began to pour down rain!  I was glad I finished before the wet stuff came down, but after it passed, the weather dropped down into the 50’s!  What I wouldn’t have given for those temps at the start of the race!  Oh well, what are you going to do?  Hopefully those cooler temps will stick around for a while for my next round of training runs. 

Anyways, that’s why there are no post race photos – because it was pouring rain and cold as crap.  I’ll try to take a photo of the lake next time I run there.  Some nice views!

I know this was a big racing weekend around the country.  Did you race?  How’d you do?  If not, what did you do?  How’s the weather there?

-Scott

Categories: Race Recaps | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Hill Repeats Wednesdays

This morning’s Dopey Challenge training called for 5 miles at race pace.  Every other Wednesday it calls for race pace, with just a normal slower run on alternating hump days.  I’ve been taking these days to do Hill Repeats.  I ended up doing probably 1.5 miles of repeats.  If you’ve ever done them, you know they are hard.  But you also know how strong of a runner they make you.  Besides strength, they also make you a faster runner.  And pretty much every race is going to have some sort of incline at some point – even the “flat” courses…I found this out the hard way a few months back.

I was running the Outer Banks, NC Flying Pirate Half Marathon.  Since it was on an island at sea level, I assumed it’d be flat.  Also, the course description on the web site said it was flat, but with one hill right before the finish.  Like a fool, I believed them.

Tacklin the trails...kind of.

Battling the Unexpected Hills (Not sure if that’s their official name or not)

Yes, it was mostly flat.  But there was one noticeable hill around mile 5 when we were running by the shoreline and had to take a left to enter a neighborhood.  The shoreline was sea level, the neighborhood was not.  We had to run up a hill to get there.  But that was it until mile 10.  Only one hill in the first 10 miles? I will take it!

But after mile 10, things changed.  We left the paved path and entered an unpaved nature preserve.  The last 3.1 miles were full of ups and downs…literally! I hadn’t done a stitch of hill work preparing for this race, and I paid for it.  The PR I was on pace for tripped and went rolling down a hill.

I wrote all about it in my race recap HERE.

I won’t get into the details again in this post, as I just want mention it to make a point:  Always do at least some hill work when preparing for a race!  If you do, you’ll be prepared for any hills you face.  Also, if you do luck out and your race is perfectly flat, then you’ll be stronger and faster for having done some hill work.  Imagine how much easier a flat race is if you’d done some prep for it by running up and down inclines!

So yes, do go out there and make mountains out of molehills!

-Scott

Categories: Running | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Dopey Training Week 1 – Hot Running

So my unofficial Dopey training kicked off last week.  The highlight being the weekend’s back-to-back.  Saturday the sched called for only 3 miles.  I did it, no prob.  Then I got online and saw all the posts from my friends who had done their training’s long run that day and all the comments were how horrible, hot, humid, and horrible it was for them.  I thought it wasn’t so bad.  But then again, I only ran 3.  I found out what they meant Sunday morn.  I had to run ten miles and got up early to do it.  They were right, it was horrible.

I was so sweaty, it was plain disgusting.  I was soaked.  And the sweat running down my legs into my shoes didn’t help much.  Each step squished.  I left footprints from my we shoes.  Each one must’ve weighed about 5 lbs.  It was yuck.  Add to that that we ran in a particular hilly part of town, and also I decided to go to yoga after Saturday’s run (and the instructor kicked our buttbutts), so my legs felt heavy.  Not my best performance on the road.

But with determination and help from a friend, I got through it.  And I know I’m stronger for it.  I know running up all those hills helped make me stronger, and running in the inescapable heat should make me stronger as well.  But I must say, I cannot wait for the cooler temps.  It’ll be nice to run when it doesn’t feel like the air is vegetable soup.  But living where we do, not much we can do about it now, so gotta get through it.  But I must say, more power to those who live here and are training for a fall marathon.  If you’re running really high mileage in this weather, that’s gotta be even tougher.  Luckily my mileage doesn’t really start to increase until the fall, which can still be hawt, but hopefully not as hawt.

Anyway, that’s all I got right now.  On to week two!

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