2008 Run Wild for a Child

It is Thanksgiving weekend and you survived pounds of turkey with all the sides and shopping on black friday... what better way to re-coup then to RUN WILD FOR A CHILD!

This sunday in Golden Gate Park in San Francisco, the 24th annual Thanksgiving weekend Run/Walk is taking place to support the San Francisco Firefighters Toy Drive. 

There is Race Day Registration, so it's not too late!!

Event includes:
10k Run or Walk
5k Toy Costume Contest (with 1-10 prizes)

Sunday, Novemeber 30, 2008
8:30 am at Golden Gate Park

Register Online (before 11am on 11/27) • BenefitsCourse Map • Volunteer


Surprise, Surprise

There are many benefits to going out for a few miles on a Sunday (or any other day). Often it is to think about the week past and the one quickly approaching and sometimes it is to listen to a recently downloaded play list in search of the next 3 minute surge to come through the headphones. But lately, Sundays have been about football. (NFL style)

Running on the treadmill while watching the 10am game has been a recent discovery since I mostly pound the pavement on the actual pavement outside. But getting some miles done on the treadmill and watching the game is pretty fun. You get lost in what is going on and the next thing you know you've been running for 3 miles.

Yesterday during the Cowboys/49ers game I had planned to get in 5 miles, but with Tony Romo and Jason Witten being on my Fantasy Football Team, I was a little more invested, and wound up reaching 5 miles with some extra energy to burn. So I decided to run a little bit longer. I increased the speed and got in an added 1.3 miles for 6.3 total for the day.

If I had decided to sleep in, I would have missed out on the planned 5 miles along with doing my longest run in the last 3 weeks. Surprise, surprise. Sometimes when we go out for a run, we can surprise ourselves and accomplish more than our scheduled maintenance run. So next time you are considering skipping your next jaunt, be like Nike and just do it, you may be in for a treat.

Green Bonus: this weeks trips to the gym were all done on foot with zero emissions. (other than my voice saying, "damn, it's cold.")


Run and Be Productive

Since I stayed up late to watch a movie, I didn't feel like a 5am wake up call. So I hit the snooze and decided to wake up at 6 for a shorter distance run. I considered sleeping in completely and just waking up in time to go to work, but I needed to run an errand before work and that's what I did... literally. I RAN and did my errand.

I needed to return the DVD that I watched until midnight the following morning, so I worked it into my run. The store was less than a mile away so I ran there, dropped off the movie, then continued to get in a 2.5 mile run and the best thing is I did it with zero emissions and burned (plus or minus) 250 calories. Now that's being productive.

Just imagine if everyone walked, ran, or rode their bike once a week for an errand. (I also rode my bike last night to pick up some vegetables for dinner.) Of course we can't do that if we are stocking up at Costco or Target, but maybe when we need to pick up a small item that can be easily carried in hand or small backpack. Not only will we work in some exercise, we can reduce our carbon footprint.

Give it a try next time you have a chance or share in the comments some suggestions and how you've done your part to reduce our CO2 output


Running with (or without) a Purpose

I was listening to the radio this morning and one of the hosts said that his method to quit smoking was to wear running shoes and any time he had the urge to smoke, he would go run a couple miles.

It then lead me to think about how much running can clear your mind. Many people consider running to be a stress reliever and I would have to agree that this is the case more often than not. When I run and I have something on my mind, one of two things usually happen:

1. I'll enjoy the time spent on the road free of thoughts other than concentrating on my pace and distance. Completely clear my mind of all the day's clutter and enjoy the music on my iPod and the beauty of being outside. Almost as if entering a meditative state (but with clothes that wick and body glide).

2. I'll end up running and over-analyze what is bothering me until I come up with a course of action to resolve it. This is sometimes the best. The miles fly by without realizing that you have just ran for the past hour and it ends up the best of both worlds. Getting your miles in and coming up with a solution to a problem.

Either way, running is not only a part of living a healthy lifestyle, it gives you an opportunity to think about things that you may be too busy to think about during the course of your normal day. It allows you to have a block of time that is yours to do with as you please. So enjoy your time out on the pavement and take advantage of the opportunity to take one step at a time.

Care to share what comes across your mind when you are out on the road? Leave them in the comments below, maybe you'll inspire someone to lace up their shoes today.


Up Before the Sun

There is something special about getting up in the morning before the sun has risen, when there is morning dew on the grass, the streets are silent and the only noise is your feet repeatedly hitting the pavement.

Luckily, I'm able to enjoy these finer things living in a quiet neighborhood east of the busy city. (Although running through Golden Gate Park at the same time is just as nice if not better.)

I woke up this morning a little before six, grabbed my shoes and the leash for Mika and we ran a quick 4+ miles together before the hustle and bustle began. By the time our run came to an end, the sun was up and the commuters were out and about.

There is something special about a morning run. It starts the day off on the right foot (pun totally intended) and gives you a special jolt of energy to begin the day. Plus, it's only 7 am and you've already accomplished something. The early morning is one of my favorite times to run... 

What's yours? Feel free to share your favorite time and place to run in the comments section.


Nike Responds with a True Trophy

I'm hoping that this is the response to the Arien O'Connell ordeal that it seems most people wanted from the beginning — yesterday Nike awarded her a Tiffany Crystal trophy inscribed with "First place overall, women's division, Nike Marathon." (Full story on SFGate)

In addition, there was a note from Nike that apologized and hoped that there were no hard feelings. When Arien was asked if she was happy, her response was: "Yes, if they'd given me that trophy in the first place, no one would have ever known."

But unfortunately that didn't happen and after The Chronicle ran the story on SFGate, it received over a million hits, numerous comments and Nike then had a situation on their hands. The aftermath included Nike receiving bad press along with a number of emails, letters and phone calls frowning upon their decision. The final straw may have been Reebok's response a day before forcing Nike hands to make a decision. Although it may be too late to effect people's opinion on Nike and the situation, when it comes down to it, she won the Women's Division and has a trophy to prove it.

Case closed?


Guess Who Just Did It?

That's right - someone finally did what I was talking about on day one. (Although I didn't blog about that particular thought, shucks. Ask my co-workers though).

Arien O'Connell (the would-be first place winner of the Nike Women's Marathon) received a surprise award ceremony at the school where she teaches... but not from Nike. From Reebok! That's right. A competitor finally stepped up and decided to throw Nike's decision in their face. Arien was awarded a trophy inscribed with "Winner and Heroine of Non-Elite Runners Everywhere." along with a free pair of Reebok shoes every month for a year, T-shirts for everyone in her class, and a $2,500 donation to her school. Not too shabby. (Full story on SFGate.com)

Now let's get back to the "I called it!" that I should be writing about right now. There was so much detail in the events that happened that the blog was getting too lengthy for me to insert a thought I had. I shared with some friends, but unfortunately didn't post anything regarding it. I thought Nike should have sponsored Arien for at least a year - whether they awarded her first place or not. Get her a coach, put her on an advanced training program and help her become a better runner. To me that is worth more than some trophy, a title, and one events' prize money. She already was a sub-3 hour runner, throw some Nike apparel and shoes on her for a year, put her in a commercial to promote the Nike Marathon 2009 to help fund raise for Leukemia and let's get Arien into the 2:30 range. Nike missed a huge opportunity to introduce the world what could have been the next face of long distance running. At least a company did good by finally giving her some recognition along with something she can use to become a better runner.

Previous Posts regarding Arien O'Connell:

SIDE NOTE: Can we get someone to take a better picture of her? Everything that I have seen has been some weird angled shot with bad lighting... almost as if it was taken from a cell phone across the room. Help the girl out.

Alright - throw the comments below and let us know what you think...


The Fox Wanted to Run a Mile in Her Shoes

You can't make this stuff up folks.

In Arizona, a woman was running a trail near the city of Prescott and was attacked by a 'rabid' fox. Apparently the fox attacked and bit her foot. She then grabbed it by the neck when it went for her leg... the fox then proceeded to bite her in the arm. The woman said she wanted the fox to be tested for rabies, so she ran a mile to her car with fox's jaws still clamped to her arm. (I know, right?) She then got to her car, pried it off her arm and threw it in the trunk and drove to the hospital. (See for me this would be a problem because I drive a Scion XB, and I don't have a trunk - think short station wagon) The sheriff's office also reported that the fox later bit an animal control officer. Both are receiving rabies vaccinations. (story on SFGate.com)

Wow! I have ran some tough miles in my life, but they fall short in comparison to this one. And you thought the last few miles of your last long endurance run were tough? Sheesh, try it with a fox attacking your arm. I would have to imagine that she wasn't bleeding terribly, otherwise why risk loosing so much blood not only in the mile run, but on the way to the hospital? It was a trail run, so I assume she was at least a few miles from the closest hospital.

I don't do very many trail runs and have never had an encounter with a wild animal on any of my runs... come to think of it, over the summer I was running around the Lafayette Resevoir and there was a snake on the road. I'd like to say that I wrestled it and we battled it out for hours, but sadly I simply ran around it and informed some other runners to becareful of the snake on the road. I guess I'm not a hero, but I'll settle for a nice runner.

Any exciting stories? Share them in the comments section.

BONUS: Just for sharing your exciting story I'll send you a FREE John Legend mp3 download code off iTunes, courtesy of Starbucks... and if I don't have your email, shoot me an email at: pavementrunner@gmail.com


US Half Marathon - Completed

It looks like my final event for 2008 was a success. The US Half on Sunday in San Francisco turned out to be a wonderful race and as my last registered event for the year, I'm glad to say that it was a good note to end the year on.

Did I post a PR? No. Did I get to run in costume? No. Did I find a million dollar bill on the Golden Gate Bridge and change the event to the Pavement Runner Half? No. - But with all those things not happening I still had a great time. I had originally planned to run in costume, but the potential of rain meant I wasn't going to be able to. So I wore normal running clothes and am saving the costume unveiling for a future event.

As for my time, I had always viewed this as a training run, a very slow training run. With me still recovering from some bad IT band issues a month ago, there was no way I was going to come close to my sub 2 hour PR, I was going to be happy coming in under 3 hours, which I did (2:43). Some fellow friends smashed on the course put up wonderful times and many had amazing PRs. The course was full of hills, up and down, and since I didn't want to agitate any IT band issues, it meant walking every single one of them, up and down. I hadn't expected so many, but it turned out to be a nice break and allowed me to stop and enjoy the SF scenery during a run. There was a slight sprinkle for about 20 mins, but overall, the weather was  cooperative and ended up being great running weather. With the rain clouds slowly moving, a beautiful rainbow hit the Golden Gate perfectly and I don't doubt that everyone that ran, thought it was one of the highlights of the days event.

Congratulations to everyone that had a wonderful weekend. There were lots of races this weekend including the NYC Marathon, won by running icon Paula Radcliffe. Also, through the blog's Facebook page, a lot of people were sharing their weekend times, so kudos to everyone who got out and put some miles on their shoes.

Like we did a couple months ago, if you ran this weekend in an event or just a training run, post it in the comments section (distance and city where you ran) and I'll send you a code for a complimentary John Legend (song: Green Light feat: Andre 3000) download through iTunes courtesy of Starbucks. It's that easy.

(Limit to first 20 (never hit that number, ha) and if I don't have your email, email me and I'll send you the code: pavementrunner@gmail.com )


U.S. Half Marathon

The U.S. Half Marathon in San Francisco starts tomorrow at 7 am and right now it is pouring with little hope of it letting up. I had planned to run the event in costume, but looks like those plans are not going to come to fruition. However, I am sort of excited (in a weird way) to be running in the rain. I'll let you know how the event goes. Sorry for the short post, I'll make up for it. 

Don't forget to turn back your clocks one hour.