Sunday, September 20, 2009

For the First and Last Time

I achieved a lifelong goal last Friday of coming in first in a race. It's likely to never happen again, so I thought I'd commemorate it with a blog post.

Sep 11th was our companies 2nd annual 5K race. We combined it with a Best Buddies fund-raising event. There were only a handful of us running it competitively, but a wins a win :)

I'm officially the fastest employee for the second year in a row. My time was 20:14

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Suncrest Mountain Half Marathon 2009

***copied from my journal, but with pictures***

Up at 6:30. Groggy. My back is sore. (still feeling good after yesterday's first place finish on our company 5K) Repeated yesterday’s routine, minus the shower. Not quite as nervous, since I’m not competitive in half marathons. Out by 7:00. Drove to 146th and up into Suncrest above Draper. Competing in the Suncrest Mountain Half Marathon today. It’s a brutal road and trail course with constant elevation change.
The course begins at 6100’, goes up and down for 6 miles, drops to 5300’ feet by mile 7, it’s lowest point, and then climbs to 6350’ for the next 5 miles. The last mile is downhill. There are zero flat sections on this course. You are either going up or coming down. Since the declines are so steep, it seems like you spend most of the time climbing. It’s a knee busting race, but mine held together pretty well.

Elevation chart

Race began at 8:00 after the sun was already up and things were warming up. The heat proved to be the most difficult part of the race, after the constant uphill. There were 4 aid stations, and I dumped water on myself at each one of them, trying to cool myself down. I opted not to carry water.

Around mile 1.5 on single track

The trail was a bit clogged at the beginning, as they had the 5K runners start with us. They broke off after 2 miles. I was surprised at the level of difficulty some of the single track had. Many sections were overgrown, covered in roots and rocks, and held sudden sharp turns. I loved these parts, but hated the surface streets through neighborhoods. Great views of both Utah Valley and Salt Lake Valley at different points.

Rounding the corner to the finish line

Here are my split times:

Mile1 7:32 (Can’t help starting out fast)
Mile 2 9:08
Mile 3 8:38
Mile 4 7:53
Mile 5 8:45
Mile 6 8:24
Mile 7 6:28 (Incredibly steep downhill in parts)
Mile 8 11:13 (The 5 mile climb begins)
Mile 9 10:57
Mile 10 15:04 (having to walk sections of really steep uphill)
Mile 11 10:03
Mile 12 10:17
Mile 13 7:13

In case, like me, you've always wondered what I look like from behind.

There were 92 finishers in the half marathon. My final time was 2:00:54, a 9:13 min/mile pace. I came in 15th overall, 14th male. My age group was really competitive. I was 9th in the 30-39 year olds, despite being the 14th male. No medals today. We did have coupons for a free slice of Pier 49 pizza and a Tropical Sno cone immediately following the race though. Ate while watching the live band Mama’s Boys play classic rock tunes.

Friday, September 11, 2009

DC by land and sea

Saturday we went to the Smithsonian, starting with The Castle, which contains random historical items.

Like the American Idol judges table

And this bird eating tarantula

Then over to the National Museum of American History

I never had a cool lunch pail. Just a brown bag and Toughskins jeans.


Puffy shirt

Hoods worn by conspirators in Lincoln's death. Creepy.

Lincoln bronze

Stuffed WW II dog

Our first choice of where to eat lunch was closed, so we ended up at this Caribbean joint: Naby's Island Restaurant.

Jerk chicken, rice, beans, and cabbage = delicious

Coming out of the Metro: Redis, Jina, Alena, and Kelly

On Sunday we took a Potomac river cruise on the Spirit of Washington.

The buffet was ok. Not my favorite meal of the trip.

It was good enough for Gary Coleman though.

Ship mates.

Insert caption here

Bumming a smoke

Unflattering jeans.


Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Marrakesh Mayhem

In Washington DC over the weekend on business. Friday night before our event we went to a Moroccan restaurant called Marrakesh.

Jina, Redis, and Kelly in front

Erin, Kelly, Jina, and I at our booth

Hand washing was a must, since our eating utensils were attached to our arms.

I took before and after shots of the 7 course meal.
Course #1: Cold salads of eggplant, carrot, and a cucumber-tomato-pepper mixture that I loved.

Course #2: A sweet phyllo dough pot pie of chicken and egg

Course #3: Whole chicken with potatoes and green olives.

Belly dancing intermission

Back to the food.
Course #4: Lamb with almonds. Having watched my share of cooking and travel shows, I took the chance to suck out the bone marrow. Not bad.

I was a little late on the draw with course #5: couscous with squash, carrots, garbanzo beans, and raisins. It was pretty before our fingers went to work.

Course #6: Fruit

Peppermint tea break. Wow was that good.

Course #7: Baklava. The best kind of lava really. "Hot Lava" from The B-52's coming in a close second.

Junell and I, one step away from a food coma.

Stay tuned for more trip photos.