Friday, April 6, 2012

Marathon Maniacs medal hangers in the house!!

I haven't been blogging lately, cause I've been crazy busy with how fast the medal hangers have taken off. Allied Steel Fab is now the manufacturer and owners of the medal hangers I've designed. I work for them now. So far I've counted at least 5 companies to spring up, "using" or "borrowing" my design.
Recently we added official Marathon Maniacs custom medal hangers with your MM # right on the hanger!! It's a great way to display your running medals!!! Plus, Maniacs have tons of medals to display.
Here is the link to order yours!!!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Winthrop Marathon

Friday I drove the North Cascades Highway up to the small town of Winthrop. Winthrop is a tiny town that looks like it was set in the wild wild west. It’s about 30 miles from the famous Omak Stampede and Rodeo.

Me and Teresa (Waterskimmer from RWOL) both rented rooms at the Badger Inn. It’s a house that was converted into an Inn. Back in the day (1930’s) it was the mayors house, situated a block from the main intersection. The place was great, nice and quiet with no TV or anything. It was a perfect way to unplug from it all. I went down and bought the book “Born To Run”.

Saturday afternoon a family of deer stop for some dinner in the yard.

The packet pickup was in Twisp, another tiny town 8 miles outside Winthrop. Included in my $65 race fee was a pasta dinner. There I met many fellow marathon maniacs and the grand dad of them all, Bob Dolphin. Bob is 80 years old and Sunday was his 473rd marathon!!! The race shirts were pretty good, for an extra $25 it was kinda army green with a logo that looked like and old western sheriff badge. Best of all it was made by Patagonia.

Sunday morning we pulled up to the start line in 3 buses, about 115 runners. This is the Methow Valley, scenic yet asphalt paved for all but the first 3 miles. At the start line there was a van with a roaring fire on the other side. I thought how nice of them to make a fire so we could stay warm. Uh, sitting at the fire was a guy with JUST a shirt on…… He was camping. He tried to kinda hold his shirt down as we wandered around asking what the heck we all were doing. I just asked him, “you thought they set up these potties in the middle of nowhere for you?”.

This race was pretty much all downhill. 1800 foot drop, 1500 foot net loss.

That’s was my downfall along with buying a gel bottle to put all 6 gels into. This made it hard for me to figure out much I was using. By the time I was done it turns out I only used 1-1/2 gels. I also did not hydrate enough. So, on BQ pace for 12 miles, then the quads quit and I had no fuel source due to my own error. In the end I saw great scenery, rattlesnake roadkill, and lots of perfect weather. Ended up with worst marathon (#15) besides my first.

At the finish line I saw one of my acquaintances, 81 year old David Painter. He finished in 4:29:59!!!!

Finishers medal was excellent, it was a sheriff badge laser cut out of metal much like my running medal hangers are. At the finish line there were tons of goodies given by the local business/sponsors. Free Mexican dinner right there at the finish, made to order. Free beer from the red schoolhouse brewery and a free giant scoop of ice cream from the ice cream parlor. Blue Sky Soda, chips, salsa….

This event was hands down the best dollar for dollar return on any race fee I paid, and I have run 45 races in 4 years. It made the 3-1/2 hour drive in my little sports car worth it, and believe me, it’s no fun running 26.2 miles and then sitting in that car like that.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Skagit Flats Marathon (PR)

I’m not much for races reports anymore. Not that running 26.2 has become an everyday thing, but I am more comfortable with it and the little things aren’t as notable as they were during my first race. Even if I do have something to say, I usually remember it days after the race as most of it was a blur. This race was kinda last minute, and I had no great agenda other than running near my PR time as this was flat, yet I knew it might get warm. Inspiration can be few and far between once you have a few marathons under your belt. This week saw my brother suffer a heart attack, and thank god he caught it and got himself to the ER in time. Also fellow RW forumite smarterblonde lost her father Karl. This race was dedicated to Karl and my brother Vern along with the victims of 911, so a PR would be nice. Latter miles 22-26.2 are tough for me, and having inspiration to draw from helps me. Thinking, “c’mon, this pain will pass, their pain might not”. Me and the GF Jenni headed up to Burlington and signed me up. It was a nice crisp morning, but I knew the sun was coming. It was only going to hit 75, but this course isn’t called Skagit Flats for nothing. It’s in the Skagit Valley where all the tulips are grown. It’s farmland, FLAT with NO shade. I made my rounds, talking to and meeting Betsy, Robert, Ric and David.
I was sporting the current team USA singlet with the JO for Jesse Owens. These were used in the Berlin World track Championships. Splits felt good, but miles 8-10 I let it slip into my head that I wasn’t even going to run under 3:30:xx. I was slowing a tad. I think it might have been the lonely out and back with no land marks or any real scenery. So I think my theory ran true, because there is a mental light that goes of when I run out and back whether it’s a training run or a race. I run faster on the way home, knowing you only have “X” distance to go. I picked the pace back up again and was hovering around 7:42 pace overall. 7:38 gets me to Boston. I didn’t know it at the time, but my Garmin was reading further (26.4 overall). So really by the time I hit 7:45 overall pace, I was really at 7:49. I thought I had a shot at 3:23-3:24. At mile 17 something happened that gave me more confidence that per the hot conditions I was doing well. My PR of 3:25:23 came on a pretty flat Eugene course on a day that was 55 degrees with some sprinkles. That was perfect. So to run that again in 75 degree weather with sun on you and zero shade? GREAT. The thing that happened was I saw a friend of mine ahead of me, you can’t miss him, he’s got to be 6’4” tall. I caught him at mile 17.
Why is this a sign? Because his PR is 3:10:xx. I passed him once at the Seattle Marathon at mile 13, but he was walking and was injured. After the race I found out the heat was draining him and he was cramping up. Shortly after mile 17 they started dropping like flies….. I must have passed 15 people in the last 6 miles. I tend to slow down myself, but it always amazes me how many people got so far ahead of me, only to drop back so far in the latter miles. Miles 23-26.2 were far better than any race prior, I was sore and tired, but no drained like previous races. This alarms me, why then didn’t I push harder? I think in some ways it’s that marathon mentality, you need to pace yourself. Then again you only have so many miles to make up time. It’s not like you can drop 3 minutes in the last 3 miles by banging out three miles at 6:45 when you were running 7:45. The final stretch of the race has you making a sharp left turn onto the high school track. You go thru a gate to your left. I was around 3:24:00.
At the gate a guy passes me while we are turning left, on my left. He had barely room to do this. You really shouldn’t do that, you should do it before or after the turn, or pass on my right being as we are turning left. I blurted out “WTF”. I’m kinda in a pissy mood after 26 miles especially when someone jeopardizes my safety. You can easily go down after that much running. So, his reward was me sprinting past him in a 100m dash. It was just me and him for 100m. I beat him by a step at the line for 25th place. I looked at my Garmin after the race. It tells you your fastest pace during each mile, top speed if you will. That last 100m I was running under 4:00 pace. Final clock time was 3:25:01.

Friday, August 14, 2009

What do I sound like? The Running Medal Hanger Podcast Interview.........

Aside from hearing your own voicemail recording, you hardly ever hear your own voice, especially for 3-4 minutes. I was invited to talk about my running medal hanger display on a very cool running podcast called "RunRunLive". I was pretty nervous about it, but thought what the heck, it's a great way to reach many people and get the word out there about a perfect solution to a problem most runners face, what to do with your running medals.

Listening to that much of my voice reminded me of when I was a kid, and people actually had tape recorders and recorded little skits or whatever.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

2009 Seattle RNR Marathon

Seattle Rock & Roll Marathon report.

Everything went well the morning of my race, but if the day before the race was any indication of how my race would go, I was in serious trouble.

Friday afternoon I parked my car in my driveway so I could wash it. I got a knock on the door an hour later from our condo landscaper telling me that he’d backed into my Coupe.
Busted tail light and a bumper that was out of alignment by ¼”.

Jenni dropped me off at about 5:30 and I had plenty of time to get things out of the way, talk to a few running friends I ran into in coral #2 and get my photo taken by the roaving camera guy.
My goal for this race was 3:30:00, being I ran that on a similar course. It turned out to be a way easier course, and I was in better shape. 3:25:00 (a PR) could have been achieved on this day. I felt great, maybe even good enough to run a BQ time of 3:20:59.
The crowds were thick despite corals. There were still a good 750-1,000 runners per coral.

1/2 a mile into the marathon, I wasn’t paying enough attention to the terrain I was running on. I twisted my ankle on the edge of the asphalt where the paving ends and has a 2" drop. I tried to break my fall with my right hand. That left me with 6-8 very deep cuts with rocks and dirt. It looked like hamburger, blood and dirt. Then my left hand hit along with my left thigh, resulting giant raspberry on my thigh. Left elbow hit. My left eye socket hit the ground and shattered my Oakley's into two pieces. It forced the glasses into my temple bruising it.
So there I was, no sun protection for my eyes on a very sunny day, and my ankle was kinda sore. Little did I know it was actually WAY more than just sore. Adrenalin and endorphins mask pain.

I got up and continued on with the same pace I planned (8:00 or faster).
I saw a co-worker at mile one and stopped for a second to let him know his wife might be finishing AHEAD of me. It was her first full marathon.
It’s kinda sad that I didn’t get to enjoy this course, I was just on autopilot. I just wanted this nightmare to be over. I couldn’t believe my race was unfolding like this. At some points I just laughed, I’d pay big money to see a video of me going down like that. The people behind me that saw me go down had a good laugh I’m sure. Oddly nobody said a word or stopped to make sure I was ok.
It’s hard to come up with details of this race, because it was just a blur. I just ran, I can’t even remember what was going through my mind except I know I altered my normal stride. I kept my ankle as stiff as possible without pushing off of it. It’s a good thing I don’t pronate much when I run, I’m neutral. My concern was my new shoes, lightweight trainers. They don’t offer as much support as my normal shoes. To think before the race I was worried about my other ankle and what I thought might be plantar fac. In the weeks prior to the race.

At mile 11 I was still at 8:00 pace and stopped for a full minute to wash out my wounds and dig out rocks. I actually looked at my ankle for the first time. It was the size of a racket ball. I saw a few people I know and they commented on how I was running, they asked if I was limping. I guess I was only fooling myself. I told them what happened and like true Marathon Maniacs they told me “you can do it”.

Mile 11 I think it was, we met back up with the ½ marathoners. We had run out the I-90 bridge adding more miles. That was a mess, you WERE running with people your pace, then when you rejoin them, you are running with people way slower. To top it all off 4 lanes merged into two, with water right before it. GEEZ
That was tough. Any left right movement wasn’t fun. Turns, turnarounds, camber in the road………
So now I was heading into the city, near the finish line. The half runners were almost done, but was I almost done? I could take a DNF on the full and turn left and get a ½ marathon finish, which would actually be more like 15-16 miles for me since I ran on I-90. This was the toughest mental portion of the race. I don’t like failure. I literally couldn’t decide what to do, to the point that it upset me. If I finish in 2 hours I won’t be able to find Jenni for about an hour and a half. If I continue and can finish or take longer than 3:45:00 she’s going to start freaking out. As it was, when I finished I was way behind my normal time, and the time we discussed. She was already wondering what happened to me. When she saw me at mile 26 she KNEW, she could see it on my face.
I continued on, trudging out onto the bridge. Once I made that decision, I thought for a split second it was the wrong decision. It’s so demoralizing running away from where you are to finish. After I went through the tunnel and up to Fremont, I talked to a young lady to try and take my mind off this “problem”. Her story was crazy, maybe not as crazy as mine, but crazy. Her long run was 12 miles, and the day before the race she upgraded to the full marathon. Easier for her, she might have been 22? I left her behind and made my way to Fremont, seeing my friends coming back at me after they went around the turnaround. I didn’t use my garmin, I was just using my watch and keeping track of each mile, judging how I was doing by each mile ran. They weren’t TO far ahead of me, and they were in the 3:30-3:35 range. Seeing the 3:30 pace group ahead of me, and seeing the 3:45 pace group behind me as I myself was coming back around mile 19 gave me a much need confidence boost.
I was doing great besides my ankle. Then again I was around 8:18 pace, which is now becoming very comfortable at any distance. The only problems I had were when I’d stop for water. I could tell it was tight and I just tried no to look at it.

Mile 23-24 once again was no fun, you had to run past the finish area again. This time we were going south of it for another turnaround. I didn’t feel any fatigue on my legs I just could feel my ankle was so done. I really wished I could have enjoyed this race, the scenery, the bands. Mile 24.5 was the turnaround I think, that hurt. I just about walked around that cone to make sure I didn’t hurt my ankle anymore with left right action.
Mile 26 was down the off ramp, STEADY please…Little did I know Jenni was there at the bottom. So was Shelby, local RUN26 running store owner and mentor to many. He was coaching TNT this race and must have run 40 miles back and forth helping his team. He had a big high five for me. Jenni saw me and yelled but I didn’t hear her. She then ran through the alley to mile 26.15 to see me finish. I saw her and heard her ask me if I was ok. I think I was almost crying at this point, and mustered a “hell no” nod.

I watched my finish video today, I looked like crap. I instantly signaled to a medic to look at my ankle. They took me into the medic area and sat me on a chair in direct sunlight, nice. They kinda cleaned out my hand and gave me some ice. Funny thing was I saw on the news later on that they had these cool buckets of ice water for runners with plastic booty’s for your feet. Why wasn’t I offered one of these? Instead I had a lame plastic bag with ice wrapped on my cankle, dripping melting ice all over. Headed out to get my medal and finishers pic and find Jenni.

The lines to go through the food area were HUGE, and a maze. I could barely walk here people……. I asked if I could forgo that area and bypass it and find the giant “N” for Nelson so Jenni could find me. I’m sure she was kinda wondering WTF happened to me? They couldn’t move the barricades so I climbed over it. Once again, NICE, I mean do I have to ask for a wheel chair to make it apparent I can’t walk? I ran into Heather who had just ran her first ½ marathon. A friend of hers passed away recently and she ran it for them. So cool.
I found Jenni and got my kiss and ahug, explained why her boyfriend is crazy and ran 25.5 miles on a jacket up ankle, hobbled to the car and got the hell out of dodge.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Running Medal Hanger Display (Running Medal Display)

This week we released the latest version of my running medal display hanger that I had made last year. The original one did the job, but the new one is thicker, sturdier, and better designed.
There isn't really a good medal hanger out there, hence why I designed my own.
Since then they have become pretty popular in my running community. The other ones cost to much and look cheap. I am proud of my running medal display.
We can custom make anything you want really.

I have also made a few here and there that were custom. It’s a great artistic outlet.

Online catalog for purchases found here......