26.2 Reasons to be Excited about Seattle

1. It's a Marathon... Who isn't excited for that?

2. It will be the third state to complete a marathon in... way short of all 50 states, but a start. (Ca, Az, Wa)

3. I'll be running with my coach and friend, Super Lori

4. Gard is running too! (aka Super Dude)

5. This will be my fifth marathon distance event this year... and it's only June.

6. My second Rock n Roll event of the year... pretty soon I get to smash a guitar.

7. Nirvana, Pearl Jam and Jimi Hendrix, but not so much Grey's Anatomy (except the first couple seasons... shhhh.)

8. Scott Jurek will be at the expo.

9. Monday after the race, we have a reservation to whale watch while kayaking off the San Juan Islands.

10. Tuesday after the race we'll be staying a night in Olympic National Park. They have hot springs, which I'm really looking forward to.

11. If reasons 9 and 10 don't get you hyped, how about a Triple Skinny Hazelnut Latte from the original Starbucks location.

12. Lake View Cemetery. I'm hoping to pay my respects to Bruce and Brandon Lee. Huge fan.

13. Blue Gatorade. It's delicious. (Yes, blue is not a flavor)

14. Expo! Who doesn't love an Expo? Especially for large races with plenty of booths.

15. Meeting Twitter and Facebook friends (16-19):

16. Fellow Pure Fit Radio ESR, Paige and guest blogger for the Duvall Days races. She was an early reader of the blog and it'll be great to meet her in person.

17. Dana, who we interviewed on the "An Easy 10 with..." series. She is running 52 marathons in 52 weeks to raise money/awareness for South Africa's AIDS orphans. Truly inspiring.

18. Fellow twitter pal Larissa. Speedy runner and self-described "blondie in a hot running skirt."

19. Christina, Christine, Kristina and Stefanie... all great runners who I look forward to getting a chance to meet. Hopefully, I can get the first three names to match the right people. :)

20. Understanding that events and expo's can be crowded and difficult to meet up... but we can give it a try. Heck, we'll always have Facebook. LOL.

21. Post-race meal. Isn't it always the best?

22. Bus shuttle to the start. I've been on a race bus shuttle three times: Big Sur, CIM and Arizona. All three races I set a PR in. Will history repeat itself?

23. San Francisco Marathon is a month away after this race. I'll be up in my weekly mileage and able to work on getting faster to tackle the SF course which plagues me.

24. Virgin Airlines. I hear they have great flights and that is what we will be taking there. Southwest on the way back. Not so excited about the latter.

25. My quest towards a low 4 hours marathon. In an ideal world this is a prep for a 4:20 in SF. Followed by a little a** kicking to get it to low 4 in early 2011 (late 2010?).

26. Vacation! I'll have several days away from work and will be doing what I love... running.

.2 — You had me at marathon.


An Easy 10 with Kimmie Brown

When your race history includes events with the titles: Kohls Step-Up for Kids,  CPD Run to Remember,  Alternate Route: 8k Run for Youth, United Run for Zoo and Santa Claus Shuffle and you are fund raising for the Chicago Police Fund as a part of your first marathon... you definitely deserve to be highlighted on "An Easy 10 With..." Ladies and gentlemen, allow me to introduce our fellow facebook friend, Kimmie Brown:

Kimmie Brown
Location: Chicago, IL
Race History:
JP Morgan Chase Corporate Challenge (3.5 miles) 5/27/10
5k: 5
8k: 3
10k: 2 including Anti-violence run, 4/10/10
15k: Hot Chocolate Race Nov. 2009
Kohls Step Up for Kids 80 flights of stairs 1/31/10
Adidas Presents Soldier Field 10 mile race 5/29/10
Half-Marathon: Magellan Spring Half Marathon 5/16/10
Next Race: Half Marathon June 13, 2010

I started running... March 13, 2008, I was 100 lbs overweight and desperate to lose weight so I got off my fat butt and began to run.

When I am not running... I enjoy going to the beach, listening to music, watching the Family Guy and doing yoga.

One time I was on a long run.. near Soldier Field in Chicago and I got lost. I started to cry because it began to rain. It was these two creepy guys fishing, they guided me to the lakefront path.

I choose to run without... make-up. This is very hard, I have terrible eyebrows that always need to be filled in.

The question I am asked the most about running is... "Why Do I do it so much?" My response, "I don't do it enough, I am just at 25 miles a week, my goal 35."

Running is... orgasmic to me, it makes my body feel sooooo good. I fall in love every time I do it.

When I am on the road... I look for the first sidewalk, road or dirt trail I see so I can go for a run.

I wish other runners would not... slow down to take pictures that irks me. At least move over.

If I could run three miles with someone famous... I would choose Will Smith.

I am running my first marathon, CHICAGO, this fall, I am running with the Chicago Police Fund, please click here to donate.

* * * * 

Thank you Kimmie. It's great to read about all your running experiences on Facebook. You have had a busy May this year. Keep it up and keep running strong. Good luck in Chicago and enjoy it. Your first marathon is something you will always remember.

If you'd like to be a part of "An Easy 10 with..." please email me at pavementrunner@gmail.com.


Dear Seattle,

I'm going to be honest, after running 5 marathons (2 being ultras) in the last 6 months, I have suffered a small burnout. It tends to happen and I may have let it get the best of me. But I had already committed to you and am really looking forward to seeing all that you have to offer.

Am I feeling under prepared? I suppose so. I'm not too concerned about being able to finish, but what the finish line clock will say. I'd love to cruise in around 4:30, and although it wouldn't be a PR, I'd be comfortable with it. The month of May and most of June were unmotivated months and I don't want you to take that to heart. Since December I have been participating in a number of races, ultras, relays and I felt like I needed a break. It was only meant to last the month of May, but sadly it carried unto June which was supposed to be "your" time.

But I'm not making any excuses, Seattle, you deserve better than that. I'm committed to giving it my all across your wonderful 26.2 miles and I won't hold naming Tonic as the post race concert headliner against you. With such a rich music history, I won't blame you for such a lame selection. (I digress)

Your race looks like it's going to be quite an event. Travel plans are set and connections are being made with friends. Please be gentle on me and everyone participating. This will be my second of three Rock n Roll events this year and it being Seattle, I look forward to rockin' all up and down your course.

I'll see you in less than a week.


Asics Kayano Failure?

Yesterday I was sitting down after a 3-mile run with Mika and looked at my running shoes and noticed a dark spot... as I went to see what it was, I discovered it was a shadow being created by the upper part of the shoe and it's sole (see photo). As a "WTF" flew out of my mouth, I couldn't believe what I was seeing. Just last weekend I was talking to (my coach and friend) Super Lori, about how this latest pair of Asics Kayano's haven't been fitting right and I was considering either finding a new shoe or searching out a previous model.

Here is a quick back story:
Except for the first 3 months, when I started running, I have been running in Asics shoes (specifically Kayanos) for my entire running life, almost 4 years. I typically run in whatever the last season's design was because they are usually cheaper to buy and I can get two pairs at a time. 4-years ago when I found my shoe, I was set. I could break open a new pair and log 15 miles without concern of needing to "break-in the shoe." I was "all in" with the Kayano running shoe and have never considered another pair over the last 4 years (OK, back to the story).

With this latest design, the Kayano 15s never really felt like the previous pairs. I don't know if there was a change to the toe box or shoe design (apart from the asymmetrical laces), but this pair has (occasionally) given me blisters when that had rarely happened in earlier models. I adore Asics. I ran my first marathon in Asics. I finally broke below 4:30 in Asics. I have run on trails, track and street in Asics. I have a pair on right now (GT-2140). Typically there are 4 pairs in my house at any given time, but the Kayano design is my running shoe. I don't feel confident in purchasing another pair of 15s (Gold shoes above). This pair IS six months old, but only have 360 miles on them. Range of shoes are typically 350-550 miles, but my previous Kayano's have survived more than these. They most certainly did not fall apart at the sole. 

I have a marathon in a week and luckily have a pair of Kayano 14s (photo above — which have been my fav., pair to date. I think I have bought at least 4 pairs) that I know have 26.2 still left in them. It's a good thing I make sure to have two working pairs. What's funny is those 14s should have been retired a couple months ago, but I was hesitant to buy another pair of 15s three months ago, BEFORE they started falling apart. Am I breaking up with Asics? Am I breaking up with just the Kayano design? Dare I try running in the new 16s? Or should I forgive this indiscretion as a one-time deal... Once a cheater, always a cheater?


A Winner's Race Recap

left to right: Jen, Carrie Roberts, Noelle, Sky Bryant and Alex

Carrie Roberts (above) recently won a complimentary entry into the See Jane Run Women's Half Marathon and 5k in Alameda, California. We often team up with races to help promote events and given the opportunity to give away a couple free entries to a race that includes champagne and chocolate, was something we couldn't pass up. Here is Carrie's race recap, enjoy:

I had the opportunity to run See Jane Run Women's Half Marathon by winning a FREE entry through Pure Fit Radio. I had not signed up in advance due to a ankle injury 7 weeks before. I had some friends running it and was very envious, but when this opportunity arose, I was so excited. This was just what I needed to get me back into my running after taking 4 weeks off for my injury then starting with 2 weeks easing my way back in. I had less than 2 weeks to get my mileage up from 4 miles to a half... but knew I could do it since I just ran a Full Marathon 10 weeks ago.

I did a 10 mile training run a week before and felt great. That made me even more excited!
On race morning, I followed my usual race day routine... wake up, shower, peanut butter toast and a banana for breakfast with a cup of coffee, then all set for the race. I drove four of my friends to the race and the energy was high (two of the ladies this was their first half). We got there with over an hour to spare... enough time to stretch, warm up, hydrate.

We situated ourselves at the 11min/mile marker at the start line, fully knowing this was under estimating ourselves. The race began, we started with a walk till we crossed the start line and the race began. I felt good! My one friend, Noelle, and I picked up the pace and lost the rest of the group at mile 3. The first 3 miles were beautiful and scenic along the water. Nice cool breeze blowing on us off the water. Then we turned into the streets through a business area, this was hot with no breeze and somewhat boring in the scenic sense, but I was too busy talking to be too bothered.

Mile 3 to 8 were in and out of scenic water front views then whisked off into the streets again. But from Mile 8 on was that same water front beauty all over again. At one stage we passed the Harbor Bay Fitness Club outdoor pool which looked so good at that point... it was a lot hotter than I had anticipated. At Mile 10, I was feeling so strong and had so much in me still. I needed to break loose. I took off, pushing the last 3.1 miles, passing people who asked where I had found the spurt of energy!

When I crossed the finish line, I felt great. I looked at the time, clock read 1:53, which meant I had done faster than that by a minute or so. I was happy with that, since my training was only 2 weeks long! Official time, 1:52:20, only 1 minute slower than my PR.

After the race, was what impressed me the most, from free chocolate and champagne, to free jamba juice and granola/yogurt/blueberry parfaits! It was great. There were even massages, which I could not stay long enough to enjoy!

That was a great experience — Thanks Pure Fit Radio and See Jane Run! I hope to be there again next year! Next race: Nike Woman's Full Marathon in San Francisco in October!

Thanks Carrie, we're glad you had an amazing experience. To enter any of our future, visit our home page or follow us on twitter.


I'm With The Band

Rule 2.14 — Acknowledge Bands Across the Course

With yesterdays San Diego Rock N Roll Marathon, it seemed appropriate to acknowledge The Runner's Rule Book 2.14 "Acknowledge Bands Along the Course." The rule states to simply acknowledge their  presence along the course in one way or another. Similar to you, they were up before the sun, loading their equipment and driving out to the assigned mile marker.

They are out there for us, for YOU in particular. They said: "Hey, this pavement runner fella loves to hear some pretty sweet jams when he is struggling during a race, what can we do to help? We can play him a tune to encourage his legs to keep moving." well, that's what I imagine the conversation to be like.

A simple head nod, or my go to move: hand in the air rocking out! Heck, I've even slowed my run to an easy pace and danced right on by. (as much as I can dance and run at the same time). Thousands of runners fly by, take a half second and give them a thumbs up, a peace sign, a rock n roll sign, or just scream! They'll love it. I've heard people sing along as they run by... and by "heard" I mean "have done it myself."

I love drums. Especially the Taiko drums. I experienced them for the first time at the base of hurricane point along the Big Sur course. Imagine you are about to climb a monster hill, read: mountain, and there are a bunch of bass pounding drums calling you to conquer the beast. Inspirational. That's what they are there for. To hopefully give you that little "umph" that can help you, even if just for a little while.

So next time you are out there, try and do your part to thank them for looking to inspire and motivate your run. Put your iPod on pause for 30 seconds as you race by, give them a thumbs up, a thank you and race
on. It's honestly, the least we can do.

Music on the course? Share your thoughts and experiences in the comments below.


Why Do You Run?

I suppose you could say that there are a number of reasons why I run... but when people ask me, I can't really pin-point an individual "most important" one. Actually, I struggle to get a solid point out before my brain is scrambling with a rush of reasons that don't form a single coherent thought.

Perhaps I am looking for a single answer that will explain to the person (asking the question) why we do, what we do. As if there is a sentence that can encompass all that is involved in running. The simple answer would be to say: "I enjoy it." Which is true, but it leads to a follow up question: "Why?" That is usually accompanied with one of two looks:

  1. Disgust. Like I just spit up baby food all over their shoes and they have nothing further to say to me.
  2. Actual interest. This is where I fail to elaborate and ruin an opportunity.

I could ramble on with individual half-sentences to try to explain what goes through my brain on a 5-hour run and what your body experiences when you push it to the limit... and then push it past the limit. My answer lies somewhere in between the pure enjoyment of running and the struggle to go faster and farther. I love the feeling of getting to mile 13 of a marathon run and knowing the real test of the race has not even begun yet. Or the feeling of your body going through the motions on an easy run and your mind somewhere else thinking about a difficult decision you have to make or something random like do elephants sneeze?

Since today is National Running Day, maybe I'll try and come up with a solid answer over a short run tonight... but then again, I've been running for almost three years and have yet to have a "go-to" answer.

Share why you run in the comments below, maybe your perspective will shed some light on a question we all get asked at one point or another.