Friday, October 9, 2009

My Running Family

There's something really satisfying about getting other people interested in running. This year I've really enjoyed watching Tonya, Kristin, and Will get into it...sorry Ella, no racing for you until you're 3. Here are some pictures from races this year.

March - Champoeg Park 10K - Tonya had decided to run the Hippie Chick Half Marathon in May with some of her friends and I had put together a training plan for her to follow. By March, I told her to try a 10K to see where she was at fitness-wise. It was a great morning for a race...the rain held off until just as we were leaving. Unfortunately, the race was only 6 miles due to a downed tree on the course, but it was still a good test to see where she was at...Tonya ran 51:52, so we began thinking about a sub-2:00 hour half marathon. Thanks to Gramma C. for coming to watch the kids so Tonya and I could both run.

Ella all bundled up

Will cheering for the runners

Celebrating a 6 mile PR

The running protege and mentor

July - Stayton 4th of July 10K - Kristin came all the way down from Portland to run this race just to see what I would have to wear after losing another bet with the Pain Train. It was a hot day as usual, but Kristin and I both had good races and cooled off in the creek afterwards. Kristin and Tonya were now both preparing for the Portland Marathon.

I feel bad for anyone who gets beat by this guy

Great picture of the start of the race

Trying to hang on to 2nd place

There was something special about the outfit again

Kristin finishing off her race

A 10K PR

July - Coburg Run in the Country - Tonya ran a great first half marathon in 2:02:43...she really pushed herself in the second half and even puked near the end...but she was cheated out of a potential sub-2:00 hour finish due to the fact that the Hippie Chick race used timing chips but did not have a timing mat at the start of the race...disgraceful! She could have easily lost a couple minutes at the very congested start. For her Portland Marathon training, Tonya's long run was up into the 18 mile range, so I felt she was very prepared for this half marathon...the goal was to run 9:00 minute this pace she would easily break 2:00 hours. She ended up running 8:54 pace! I was so proud. This was also Will's first official race. I have to say, it's so dang cute to see those kids lined up at the start. He had a blast.

High five from Will on the homestretch

Super Mom

Lined up for the kids race

Will having a blast

He's a natural

August - Bush Park Cross-Country Series Week 1 - These races are held every Thursday night in August and are really a lot of fun. They have races of several different distances for all ages. We ended up going the first week. Will ran in the kids race and Tonya got her speedwork in for her Portland Marathon training by running the 5K.

Will explaining how fast he will run

Lined up and ready to go

This is intense

Will has his game face on as he heads down the homestretch

Very cute

Portland Marathon speedwork for Tonya

August - Bush Park Cross-Country Series Week 4 - We didn't make it back to Bush Park until the last week of August. Will had a tough race this week...he decided to line up in front and got knocked down when the race started. He was pretty upset and I thought we were going to have to bag it, but he got over it, started running, and we even managed to pick off a few stragglers. Tonya had a good race and improved on her 5K time.

At the start...maybe too close to the front

I thought this might be a DNF

Finishing it up together...this is my favorite picture

1st time down the big hill

This is fun


2nd time down the big hill

October - Portland Marathon - This race really became the culmination of the year for Kristin and Tonya. Word on the street was that Kristin's goal for the marathon, her third, was to break 4:00 hours...she had previously run 4:24:03 (1st marathon at Newport) and 4:14:11 (2nd marathon at San Diego). For Tonya, I estimated that 10:00 minute miles was a reasonable goal for her first marathon. In the end, both ran races to be proud of...Kristin took a huge step in the direction of a Boston qualifying time finishing in 3:58:15 and Tonya finished in 4:34:44 and recently said she wants to run another one! I was very impressed with Kristin's splits for the race...she ran very evenly throughout and had a negative second half split. Tonya likely started out a little too fast and had the "classic" marathon experience that I've had several times and I've had described to me by others many times...felt great for the first 18 miles or so, then in the last 8 miles began wondering when is this going to be over! I'll add more pictures as soon as they are available.

Tonya all set for her first marathon

Pretty good view from our hotel room

Friday, September 11, 2009

So, You're Telling Me There's a Chance...

It's been quite a season for me in the Oregon Trail Series.

I had a pretty good Hagg Lake...I faded quite a bit in the end.
I had an OK Rumble...coming off a calf injury.
I had a disappointing PCT 50...story to come later.
And I had a DNF at Where's Waldo...coming off pneumonia.

Now with one race left to go, I still have an outside shot at winning the 30-39 age group. Gregory Smith is currently leading with 122.53 points and I've noticed he's not running no chance to improve his point total. I'm currently at 95.13 points...27.4 points behind. As best I can tell, I would need to finish no more than 27 minutes behind the winner at McKenzie tomorrow to get the necessary points. Note to Todd Braje...if you're running tomorrow, please don't set a new course record!

There's no question that I'll have to run my best 50K...but it's just close enough to the realm of possibility that I'm going for it!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

What's Been Missing in My Life...

Blogging...I don't know if you've noticed, but lately my blog has been drifting's time to start TCB.

I'm doing this just for me...clearly.

Actually, it's been quite an interesting past 6 months...

March - Calf injury
April - 10K PR (35:47), Boston Marathon PR (2:52:54)
May - Mike Luvin's Challenge
June - 50K PR (4:11:23), lost another bet
July - 10K PR again (35:25), Triple Mary's Peak
August - Pneumonia, first DNF

...definitely some stories worth telling.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Mike Luvin's Challenge(s)

Challenge #1 - This challenge was born shortly after the 2008 Newport Marathon. The record has changed hands several times between the Pain Train and myself. Since I'm the current record holder, I'm putting my name to it and making it public!

The course: Start from Lewisberg Saddle and run the last ~ 4.8 miles of the 2008/2009 McDonald Forest 50K, then the first ~ 6.9 miles back to the saddle.

The record: 1:23:34 (Mike Luvin - 5/20/2009)

Challenge #2 - For the short period of time that I was not the record holder for Challenge #1, I was working on another record...I had always wanted to try and run this particular route in under 1 hour. I recently went for it and was really flying until I got to the bottom of Dan's Trail and came across what looked like a few high school kids looking at a map. I figured they might need some directions so I stopped and pointed them the right that point, I was pretty sure my sub-1 hour dream was dead for that day, but I kept pushing and by the time I hit the Upper Horse Trail, I knew I still had a shot. I made it, but I figure I lost maybe a minute...I guess what I'm saying is there's room for improvement here.

The course: Start from Lewisberg Saddle and run Road 600/650 to the top of Dimple, then run down Dan's Trail to Jackson Creek Trail, then run Road 612/610 to the Horse Trails, then run up the Horse Trails, then run back down Road 600 to the saddle.

The record: 58:28 (Mike Luvin - 5/9/2009)

Disclaimer: To the best of my knowledge, there are no other claims by anyone to these records so I am declaring myself the record holder. Please correct me if I'm wrong!

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Fall Creek Run-Around 20 Miler

My goal race for the first half of the year is the Boston Marathon. After last year's race, I had to go back. When I saw this 20 mile race on the calendar, I thought it might make a good long tempo run. The only questionable part about it was it was the week after the Hagg Lake 50K.

Initially, I was planning to wait until after Hagg Lake to see how I felt before signing up, but I got ahead of myself and signed up early...if I had waited, I probably would have skipped it. My right hamstring was bothering me enough after Hagg Lake that I took 3 days off from running and used a lot of RICE therapy. I ended up running 12 miles with the Pain Train on Thursday before the race and even a couple miles the day before at marathon tempo pace just to see how it might feel. It felt OK, so the race was on...I mean, tempo run.

The race didn't start until 10:00...that was nice...I left Corvallis around 8:00 and got there at about 9:20. My plan was to do a 3 mile warm-up, but I only had time for 2 miles. The area was pretty nice and the weather was perfect for a long road run...the reservoir kind of looked like Detriot...the water level was real low.

The race started off and I was in second behind John Leuthold, an RVR runner. I was pretty sure John had run the McKenzie River 50K last year, and I knew all those guys were in the 4:00:00-4:10:00 range...a little out of my range. We ran the first mile together...I found out he was training for the Way Too Cool 50K. We hit the first mile in a little over 6:00...not quite tempo pace...see you at the finish! As I slowed down, Jason Hawthorne caught me...he's a local guy, from Albany...I've seen him at a lot of races, but never really talked to him...we ended up running together until somewhere around mile 8 or 9.

For the first 6 miles or so, I felt pretty tight and was a little concerned that the race wasn't going to go too well...but a little after the 6 mile mark we turned a corner and started to run uphill and I started to feel better. Jason and I really pushed the uphill...and John seemed to be getting closer. I was surprised that we seemed to be catching up so 10 miles I had left Jason and I was right behind John! He heard me, turned around with a shocked look on his face, and "put the hammer down". Now if I was racing, I might have tried to keep up, but as it was, I didn't even respond. He put almost 3 minutes on me in the second 10 miles of the race. I'll be interested to see how he does at Way Too Cool...turns out he did really well...finished 23rd in 4:12:18.

As far as the tempo run was concerned, the course wasn't real good for running a consistent pace...I ended up finishing in 2:10:51...a little slower than I hoped, but pretty good, I thought, with how I felt after Hagg Lake. Speaking of Hagg Lake, the course kind of reminded me of the ORRC Hagg Lake Road Run, only twice as long. All in all it was a really nice race...I finished in the top 3 so I got a free entry into the Oregon Marathon Relay in April...there's a's the week before Boston...I might run it.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Hagg Lake 50K

Last Saturday I ran my 3rd Hagg Lake 50K and 10th turned out to be a day very similar to the 2008 race. I remember thinking earlier in the week how it seemed like the 2008 trail season had just ended, but really it had been over 5 months...I was very excited to race "long" distance again. The other great thing about these races is seeing all the familiar faces...some of the Corvallis group was there...Scott, John, Dave, Erik, and Sander...I got to congratulate Darin Swanson on his sub-3 hour marathon...and Sean Meissner was disappointed I didn't wear my liger shirt. I didn't tell him, but I'm wearing my Waldo shirt this year for the's all about redemption there this season.

As Tom Riley captured in this picture below, it was a beautiful morning...if anything, I think it was warmer than last year.

I knew I was better prepared for the race this year and unlike last year, I wasn't coming into the race after getting over the flu. Realistically, I was hoping to run somewhere between 4:08 and 4:15. We all started off on the out-and-back...a little way up the road we heard a warning of roadkill, but as we got closer the Pain Train pointed out that he wasn't dead, just drunk...glad someone took a picture of this.

We hadn't gone too far down the trail when we saw Tom Riley taking pictures...thanks, really makes my blog look a lot better. I ran almost the entire first loop with a group consisting of Brendan Trimboli, Will Kalenius, and Joelle Vaught. I had some aid station splits written down to give me an idea of how fast I was going...we were on about 4:00 pace at the first aid station. I had the feeling it was a little too fast for me, but did I slow way. I continued to hit about 4:00 splits all the way around the first loop. Matt Daniels passed us without a word just prior to the Tanner Creek aid station...Brendan was the only one of us to go with him. And at about the 1 mile to go mark on the first loop, Will left Joelle and me. As I came back into Sain Creek, I stopped and picked up my full bottle.

After grabbing my bottle, who should catch up to me...the Pain Train...that gave me a boost and I consciously picked it up...I wasn't trying to break you...just a little bit of shake 'n bake! We caught Joelle and passed her after she took a spill...a short time later, we caught Will and ran behind him for a couple miles. Eventually he stepped off the trail and let us lead...and then, surprising to me, I could see Matt Daniels not far ahead. We caught and passed him as we popped out onto the road just prior to hitting the dam. Now for much of this time, I had the feeling that I was "running over my head"...then the Pain Train made his move...I was able to keep up on the road, but once we hit the trail again I fell back. And a few miles later, I really slowed felt like my hamstrings and calfs were getting real tight. Soon after that, Will caught and passed me...then Joelle caught me at the Tanner Creek aid station. My only thought at this point was that it was going to be darn close if I wanted to finish in 4:15. Unfortunately, this last stretch is probably the toughest to run...I tried to push...I even fell once...but in the end I was a little upset with myself that I didn't push quite hard enough to finish under 4:15...4:15:36. The Pain Train finished another great race in 4:05:54! He continues to impress me.

After the race I took a soak in the, that was cold! But I think it did me some good...everything feels pretty good a couple days later except the right hamstring. Hope I didn't make a mistake signing up for the Fall Creak Run-Around 20 Miler next weekend! Time for some road racing before the Boston Marathon.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Cascade Half Marathon

The Cascade Half Marathon has become an annual race for's really good motivation to start training hard in the late fall and winter months. Like the Pain Train, it's also where I went to high's fun to come back and see familiar faces and run on familiar roads...and those roads are flat and fast.

This is a race that Tonya always comes to...she's managed to get a picture of me finishing every year...except this one when I was looking my best!

2005 - 1:33:13 - Looks like I'm about to collapse.

2006 - 1:26:35 - Redemption for the 2005 race.

2007 - 1:24:27 - Dry but cold...and the Pain Train showing off his hardware.

2008 - 1:21:36 - wind!

Mile 1 - 5:50 - The first mile felt great...under control...but I was shooting for closer to 6:00, so I backed off the pace slightly.
Mile 2 - 6:05 - I ended up running the next two miles with Ken Vendley...he was also shooting for a 6:00 pace.
Mile 3 - 6:07 - At mile 3 the pace felt a little too I slowly pulled away from Ken.
Mile 4 - 5:57 - That's more like it.
Mile 5 - 6:05 - I caught and passed Thomas Goodwin somewhere around here...he's been a measuring stick for me in the past...he finished just ahead of me at the Capitol Mile and past Cascade Half Marathons.
Mile 6 - 5:57 - First thoughts of..."am I going too fast."
Mile 7 - 5:45 - I hit the half-way point in this mile, turned, and headed into what felt like a strong headwind...I thought, "oh crap" really felt like I was slowing down, so I was really pumped when I hit mile 7 in fastest mile.
Mile 8 - 6:03 - Mile 7 was a little fast so I backed off slightly.
Mile 9 - 5:53 - I passed Michael Graham somewhere around here, I think...I started thinking about the headwind coming up, so I pushed harder knowing these next couple miles would be a little easier.
Mile 10 - 5:50 - Thought it was pretty cool to hit the 10 mile mark in under 1 hour.
Mile 11 - 5:58 - Started really thinking about the headwind coming up.
Mile 12 - 6:11 - My slowest mile..."be the wind."
Mile 13 - 6:02 - I'm sure the wind wasn't that bad, but it seemed like it was...I felt like I was leaning into it and it was holding me up.
Finish - 1:18:23 - I felt great when I finished...I want to say I could have held that pace a little longer!

I also want to give a shout out to my crew for some superbad performances...all PR's!
Pain Train - 1:20:55
Dennis Gamroth - 1:30:58
Ryan Terlecki - 1:38:23
Kurtis Drake - 1:43:32

So I lost another bet with the Pain Train, wore the shirt again, and ran another great race...I'm happy about the race results, but when can we bet on a road race?

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Capitol Mile

For the second year in a row on New Year's Day, I ran the Capitol Mile. This is a one mile, out-and-back race in Wallace Marine Park in West Salem. Last year it was a little icy...I ran 5:15. This year, with how I was running, I thought I could be close to 5:00. Well, I've got a couple excuses...this year it was pretty windy and rainy and I felt like I got off to a bad start. I kind of got boxed in by a bunch of guys right from the the time I felt like I would have started a little faster. I ended up running only 5:11...I was a little disappointed. All I could think afterwards was how quickly the whole thing was over and that I was really looking forward to the 13.1 miles of the Cascade Half Marathon.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

The Pain Train Challenge

What's your prediction for the race?

I should have known better than to challenge the Pain Train in his own backyard...looks like I'll be wearing my PR shirt for the Cascade Half Marathon!

For more details on the Pain Train Challenge, check out these links...
The Pain Train
Kurtis Drake

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Fall 5Ks

After the Fall 10Ks and the McDonald Forest 15K, there were a couple Fall 5Ks I planned to run. These races were folded into my training for the Cascade Half Marathon.

OSU Eat and Run 5K - 17:49 - It was the day after Halloween...let's just say, I ate too much stomach didn't feel real good that morning. I think I ran the first mile in about 5:33, but I was still probably at least 10 seconds behind the two frontrunners and not feeling very good...I slowed down quite a bit in the next two miles. I will say that the last mile of the course is a little tough in that there are quite a few sharp turns that really slow you down. I had run this race in 18:33 two years ago, so I was pretty happy with my time, but it was my first non-PR with the Lunaracers. I feel like I let my shoes down...but I did win a nice Beaver hat and gift certificate for lunch for my third place finish.

Oregon Mid-Valley Road Race - 21:16 - I've found that getting up early and running a race on Thanksgiving Day is really a great way to start the day. For the past 3 years I had run in the OAC Turkey Trot 5K in Corvallis. Unfortunately, they've had some trouble getting the course the right length...and based on this year's results, I'm guessing it was short again. Mainly for this reason, I decided to give the OMRR a shot. It was the first year for this event in Albany, and instead of the normal 5K/10K options, this race had a 3.75 mile and 5.2 mile race...there was no chance to get the distances wrong because they're based on the length of the roads! I do like the traditional distances because I do like to compare times from race to the end, I decided to run the 3.75 mile race since it would fit in better as a tempo run for my Cascade Half Marathon training.

Everyone started together and I took the lead pretty much right from the start...I couldn't really tell how fast I was going because it was so cold. I did a good job of not looking back, but the race wasn't even half over and I was already running scared. I would say that I'm a frontrunner, but I felt a big difference being all alone in the front. Finally when I hit the turn-around, I could see that I was maybe 10-15 seconds ahead of several guys behind me, but I didn't know which race they were running. Although I ran the "easy" course, it was not exactly flat...there were some rolling hills and it felt like I was slowing down a little on the way back...I was afraid someone was going to catch me. Well, it turns out everyone that was close behind me at the turn-around was running the longer race because I ended up winning by over 3 minutes. The race organizers were good-naturedly giving me a hard time when I finished, saying I should have run the tougher course. The win felt pretty good...I even got my picture taken shaking hands with the main sponser of the race. The organizers of this race did a really nice job...I'd definitely go back next year...the question is, which race to run...defend my title or run the tougher course?

A couple sidenotes...I raced with headphones for the first time and didn't really like it...I think this was part of the reason why I couldn't tell how close the competition was. And a friend of mine who works for Albany Police was driving the tail car for the 5.2 mile I got a police escort for my cooldown!

Beaver Fun Run 5K - 17:13 - I was feeling real good after a couple mile warm-up with the Pain Train. We ran most of the course for the warm-up, so I knew how it was marked. Early in the race, there were a couple spots where the marks went up onto the sidewalk and made some sharp turns...I was following them, but a few other guys near the front weren't...this pissed me off and really fueled me. I caught up to them, took the lead, and then proceeded to really mess with them...doing things like letting them catch up to me then putting on short bursts of speed to pull was fun. Then we hit the first mile in 5:23...whoa...the only guy who was still with me started to put a gap between us...bottom line was I slowed down a bit and he didn't. But I did run the next two miles in about 5:40 and finished the race off feeling pretty darn good. Another PR...thanks Lunaracers! The Pain Train also PR'd in 17:42. Now the question was, could I beat him when there was a bet on the line?