Phoenix Jingle Bell Run

Each year, our company does a winter retreat to discuss goals and priorities for the upcoming year. This year we ended up in Phoenix (Glendale specifically). While I was there, there was a 5k Jingle Bell run that my co-worker and a few family friends decided to run.

Screen Shot 2012-12-27 at 10.25.33 AMThe night before, there was some decent rain, so the original course had to be modified from a loop to a simple out and back along a trail in the reach 11 sports complex.

The race was well organized, with about 600 runners I would guess. It started on time and had an aid station at the turnaround point.  The out and back along with dodging some large puddles made for some heads up running.

With my sore calf, I didn’t intend to run it very hard. That plan was out the window a minute or so in the race. Everything was feeling good and the path was hard packed sand, great surface to get a good time posted.

I came in 26th place overall with a time of 22:35, a PR for me.

Runkeeper log

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Pain in the Calf

So I think the 12 mile McKenzie river run, as beautiful as it was may have just been too much for me. The run itself was great but had some more difficult terrain than i’m used to. Wet rocks and soggy leaves.

I went for a 5 mile run the following day and had some discomfort along the right side of my calf on my right leg. I kept running as the pain subsided and didn’t notice anything more at the end of my run.

A day or so after that, I tried to go for a short 3 mile run and could only make it about a mile before I had to high tail it home, the pain in my leg was not going away and happened with each footfall, ouch!

Footzone just happened to be hosting a free drop-in PT clinic that Monday. After spending a few minutes with the therapist and going over my symptoms, he said it was my soleus muscle and to take it easy for at least 7 days. Contributed the flare up to doing too much too fast. I recently increase from about 25 miles a week and did a 38 and 32 mile week. I thought I got away with it, but apparently not.

Fast forward a month and i’m still struggling with the calf. Admittedly I haven’t taken a good chunk of time off running like I was told. So I can’t really complain. I tried the stationary bike, and elliptical trainer, but those drove me nuts. The good news is it is getting better, so i’m just taking it slower, have eliminated hills and reducing my mileage to around 20 per week.

Bend Turkey Trot 5k, 10k, Trotters

In Bend, there seems to be a gluttony of community races surrounding Thanksgiving and Christmas seasons. I think it’s great, they all support worthwhile causes and inspire all sorts of runners to participate in a “fun” run/race.

This year, there was the always popular “I like pie” run put on by our local footzone, this race benefits Neighborhood Impact. There was also the Bend Turkey Trot that was put on by Boys and Girls Club of Central Oregon and the Girls on the Run program.

My wife wanted to do the I like pie run, so I decided to support the Turkey Trot. There has been some controversy lately surrounding this race between the previous event producer and the Boys and Girls Club. It’s a long and messy situation, that I will just sum up to day that this years event appears to be well attended and supported by the community, and I was proud of everyone that came out and supported it. This is the major funding source for the Girls on the run program, so I was delighted to see that it was supported as such.

I believe they had about 500 entries between the 5k, 10k, and walking events.

I registered for the 5k because I wanted to shoot for a PR and see how my additional workouts may be paying dividends in the 5k distance.

We all lined up at the start at promptly 9am and we were off.

The course was a familiar course to me, I do a good portion of my running along the Deschutes River Trail. The 5k was a partial out and back and a loop. Most of it was on pavement, with sections that were gravel and a short section of grass.

I came in 24th place overall and 4th in my division, the placement isn’t that important to me, as I know this is just a fun run for a lot of people. What I was happy to see was my overall time of just under 23 minutes.

I had a goal this summer of doing a sub 25 minute 5K and achieved that in July, so to shed another 2 minutes off that was awesome.

The event was well organized and the volunteers were out in force! Again, was proud to see the community come together and support and great organization and cause.

My wife said the I like pie run was really really really popular. I believe they had over 900 participants, brought in over 5,000 pounds of food for neighborhood impact and served around 200 pies.

I am very thankful and feel fortunate that I can live in a community that has awesome people that support great organizations!

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Day after Thanksgiving McKenzie River Run

What better way to work off those mashed potatoes, pie, turkey and gravy than to go for a long run? That’s what I thought as well.

We had a kid free Friday, so I made the suggestion to my wife that we take the 90 minute drive and head over to Belknap Hot Springs, run for a bit along the McKenzie River Trail, then spend some time soaking in the springs.

Belknap Hot Springs

This was my first time running on the trail, and I have to say, I can’t wait till I can go back and run the whole thing (about 26 miles). It’s one of the most beautiful trails I have ever been on. Even had thoughts of perhaps doing the annual 50k McKenzie River Trail Race.

Trail Conditions

The trail is mostly single track and used heavily by mountain bikers during the summer, but this time of year we had it all to ourselves. There are several stream crossings with bridges and some smaller creeks you need to jump across.

Bridge Crossing

I ended up running about 12 miles and my wife turned around a bit before me to do a 8 mile out and back. Couldn’t think of a better way to spend the day after Thanksgiving. Perfect weather, trail and finish!

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PR for Half Marathon!

Does it count if it wasn’t in a race situation? In my mind, hell ya!

We had our first snow in Bend this morning and I took that as an opportunity to go check out an area of town that I had not ran previously; A good mixture of gravel road and pavement on the east side of town. The result was I ran a 13.19 miles in 1:54. My previous best time at this distance was about 2:04. There was about 600 feet of elevation on the initial 6, so that called for some decent negative splits.

Here is the runkeeper entry.