Thursday, May 5, 2011

Bloomsday 2011

I have to share.   I haven't felt this great after a run in quite some time.   My last race was a 10k qualifier in March to get the yellow bib at Bloomsday, and it wrecked me.   I had been running off and on throughout January and February while I refereed basketball and had barely been back on my three day a week running habit for three weeks when I tackled the St. Patrick's Day Foot Race, my first attempt at the 10k distance (the great thing about being a first year runner, every race is a PR!).  But I ran myself flat in that race, I was exhausted afterwards.   But I hit my qualifying time for getting a yellow bib for Bloomsday (1:12 finish time).

My build up last week was great!   I have been running a hill down the street from my house in preparation for Doomsday Hill.   I crushed the hill in my short 4 mile tempo run last week, knocking out the run at an 8:20/mile pace, about 10 seconds faster than my normal tempo runs.   Normally I run speed workouts Tuesday (replaced with the tempo run on the hill) and then the tempo runs on Thursdays  I decided that the speed wasn't as important as the hill, so Thursday became a run how you want day.   So I set out with the goal of getting in 4.5 miles in to close out April at 50 miles total, but once I stopped, I realized I had miss calculated my last loop and finished with a 4.2 mile run.   No biggie, as I ran at a 7:58/mile pace.   I considered myself officially ready for the big run.  

Friday was a day off for me, woohoo every other Friday off, so we headed up to Spokane early for some fine dining (Italian Friday and Five Guys Saturday), some shopping. A mini-vacation if you will.   But, as has been the case on my recent trips to Spokane, the weather was not cooperating.   All week I had watched the weather with a forecast of Sunny and about 50F for race time.  So rain on Friday and Saturday was a bit disheartening, especially since I brought only light weight running gear.  Saturday night, I got ready for the run, attached my timing chip to my shoe, bib to my shirt, and just said, "I hope the weather guy is right" .". 
I was up at six Sunday morning to get ready for the race, went down to the hotel lobby for breakfast and saw fog.  Great, fog, maybe this will burn off before we get started this morning.  And thankfully, by the time we got to the mall to catch the shuttle, the sun had broken free and the haze was burning off to reveal an absolutely gorgeous day.  A short ride later I was at the Yellow starting gate ready to run with several thousand other people. 

Bloomsday Start

I have never started a race with this many people, really have never been in a race that involved as many people as were in the yellow starting group.  Needless to say, it took almost two miles for me to fall into a comfortable pace.  My split at mile 1 was 9:45, way slower than I was hoping to get started at.  Next time I checked my pace around mile 4 I was all the way down to an 8:24 pace.  There we go, pretty much right where I wanted to be. 

Doomsday hill is located between miles 4-5 of this race.  And I have to say, my first though upon seeing the hill was that it was terrifying.  I say this because as you run down the hill, you can look up and see the throng of people climbing the hill, which is probably what is so intimidating.  The climb up the hill isn't so bad, though I really had to push myself to keep up the running, and not let myself walk, the hardest part of the race for me.

Me on Doomsday Hill

After the hill I felt like I was home free.  And really I was, the finish of this race rolls through some of the local neighborhoods in downtown Spokane, and all the people are out cheering on the runners, playing music, cooking, it was really a great atmosphere and a great place to have a race.  The race finishes on the Monroe St. Bridge overlooking Spokane Falls.  It is quite remarkable to look out over the Spokane River after you cross the finish line and walk to get your finisher shirt.

The Finish Line

As I have said the whole event is quite remarkable, from the trees (see below), to the course, to the hill, to the finishers shirts.  The whole city gets behind this event.

 The T-Shirt Lines

When we got off the bus back at the mall the hostess at one of the restaurants asked where my shirt was, which I proudly stated my wife was holding on to for me.  (I have pictures of me with my shirt but I need to shrink the photos to fit, they will be up in a couple of days).

Bloomsday Trees

The results:  I rocked this run! Running it in 1:03:48, of course being the first time is a PR  Now I have a goal, to get under an hour.  I felt great all week, so I knew I was going to have a great day.  So now on to my next goal, which is completing the Half-marathon in Vancouver, WA next month.  Hoping I can do that one in under 2 hours.  Looking forward to running Bloomsday again next year!

A Rant

I realized, while watching TV, the other night that there are several things currently bothering me, and it seems appropriate to ramble on about these things.  I guess I will start with what started bugging me last night and then just continue on from there.

1) I have really started hating the iPhone commercials. You know those ads, the ones that start, "If you don't have an iPhone, you don't have iBooks. If you don't have an iPhone, you have an under inflated sense of self-worth.  If you don't have an iPhone, you haven't drank the kool-aid and joined the mindless sheep like your friends."  A caveat to that, I wanted one when they first came out, they were cool and flashy, and had games, and so many other time wasters.  I mean, I have an iPod, an iPod Nano, and an iTouch.  But I may be past my desire to continue to buy these products, and the ad campaign for selling the new iPhone ain't helping the cause.  The commercial just makes it seem, as I said above, "if you don't have and iPhone, you suck."  The ad is annoying, and really I hope that the whole ad team gets the can and they bring back the music.  Not exactly how they would best promote a device with some amazing features (phone option not compatible with actually making phone calls).  Though, it was cute when my kiddo would wander around the house after one of those ads saying, "If you don't have an iPhone, you don't have an iPhone." with an all too serious look on his face.  So the point, the iPhone ads are annoying, and make me want an iPhone less. (I'm a Droid guy now anyway.)

2) After a much too late Tuesday night, my wife crashed early Wednesday, leaving me alone with nothing more than the TV to entertain me.  So I chose to catch up on Grey's Anatomy (Warning Spoiler Alerts ahead, even though this is about 6 weeks after they aired).  I was only two shows out of date, so I cozied up with the Internet and the remote to watch the first episode.  And, as that show often does, the episode ended in a cliff hanger, with Callie and Arizona being in a car accident.  Now, the joy of watching the show months after it airs, is that I don't have to wait the required week to watch the conclusion of a cliff hanger.  So, against better judgement, I rolled right on into the second episode.  This is where the rant comes in.  A show that I love, apparently I need some kind of heart-wrenching drama in my life, sold out, not that it hasn't before.  It sold out in that it made a musical episode, and I hated it.  I repeat, HATED IT.  I am all for showcasing people's talent, but I didn't feel that Grey's Anatomy was the place to do that.  The singing took away from the drama that was created by having one of the hospital's own in limbo.  We missed out on the discussions of how we were going to save Callie and her baby. We missed out on Dr. Montgomery's return, which I always like.  The whole episode downplayed this terrible situation by covering it with singing.  I watch Grey's Anatomy for the drama, the interaction between the people on the show, doctors, nurses, patients, etc.  I get my singing from Glee, which parades as a crappy drama, with music mixed in.  I Don't see Glee doing a surgery cross-over because it is the in-thing at the moment, and Grey's shouldn't have done the singing cross-over either.  Stick with what you are good at.