Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Good News - St. George Marathon Poster

Got some good news - I've learned that one of my pictures is being used for the St. George Marathon poster again this year! I'm really excited. I love how the St. George Marathon prints a poster for all 7,400 runners.

This was my picture they used last year. It's nice to have good things come from being nerdy enough to wear a fanny pack during a marathon.

You will have to wait one more month to see which picture they use for the new poster. I will be happy to autograph your poster which may increase its value around three cents!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

I Got My Sweat On

It was a busy week and I definitely got my sweat on.

Monday, August 22nd 2011: 4 miles @ 11:34 minutes per mile. I decided to join Mel and a few neighbors for a late night run through the neighborhood. It was roughly 365 degrees outside and I was still sore from the half marathon a few days ago. Not my most favorite run ever. Here is Mel, Mel, Jess, and me showing how excited we were to return to the world of air conditioning.

Tuesday, August 23rd 2011:

Wednesday, August 24th 2011:
I planned to do eight Yasso 800s at the track but was a tad nervous because I was still a little sore.

My goal was to keep each of them under four minutes. For some reason my body held up better than expected and I finished each under the four minutes: 3:51, 3:49, 3:48, 3:53, 3:50, 3:46, 3:44, and then I went out with a bang of 3:30.

I stood there for a few minutes losing half my body weight in sweat and thought "Hmmm, I actually still feel pretty good! I could probably do a few more of those. So I did! Two more at 3:48 and 3:39. I still can't believe how well I survived 10 Yassos. This was a big confidence boost for me. Here is the After Yasso 800s picture:

After that I did my absolute favorite part of the track workout - taking off my shoes and running a few laps on the new synthetic turf at the track. It is so soft and springy. I promise you, in heaven the streets are paved in synthetic turf and shoes aren't allowed.

Thursday, August 25th 2011: 17.3 mile bike ride @ 13.8 mph. I went out with Mel and my amigos Matt and Kyle. I had to keep stopping and then trying to catch up with them. There was a storm coming in and I couldn't help stopping to take pictures.

I have been waiting for a day like this where the lighting was perfect and I actually had my camera. (Unfortunately I picked up a bunch of bug bites when I stopped for pictures. Grrr.)

It was crazy hot and crazy windy so it wasn't my most favorite ride ever. I was hoping the rainbow would come out a little more but this was the best we got:

Friday, August 26th 2011:5 miles @ 10:54 minutes per mile. I was listening to my mp3 player during my run at 5:30am and the radio said it was already 87 degrees. 87! This is completely and utterly unacceptible. Ridiculous!

Saturday, August 27th 2011: 20 miles @ 10:54 minutes per mile! I joined a bunch of friends to drive to the St. George Marathon course, leaving at 3:15am. No, that is not a typo. We left at 3:15am. Please, slap some sense into me. Even that early, the heat was smothering and I could not get into a groove. I was miserable. I dreaded the sun coming up.

I ran with Mel and Jess for the first 10 miles. It felt like it actually cooled off a few degrees and I started to feel better.

At 10 miles Jess and I sped up and ran the last 10 miles together at a pretty good clip. We even went, dare I say....fast! She definitely helped keep me on track if I started to lag a little and maybe I helped her through some tougher times too.

We reached the last 1/2 mile of the marathon and I was feeling overheated and tired but I really wanted to sprint the last 1/2 mile. I wanted to show my body what it felt like to really push hard to the finish line instead of giving out.

Here is our 20 MILES! sign. Either we each fell asleep in a tanning bed and woke up 16 hours later.....or it was insanely hot outside:

That feeling of going fast for 10 miles then finishing a 20 miler with a sprint was almost worth getting up at 2:45am. Almost. I plan to remind myself of this feeling at the end of my upcoming marathons. All in all, I got in 37 miles of running this week but if it doesn't start to cool down soon I'm not going to have any sweat left.

How does the heat effect your running?

Friday, August 26, 2011

One Week Ago

One week ago I caught up with some awesome bloggers on my way up north for the South Valley Half Marathon. These guys all have some awesome blogs that you definitely should check out. Here is ....Julia from Pain, Pride, & Perseverance, Ruth from Red Sox Wife, Rachelle from Running For Trevor, Janae from Hungry Runner Girl, Ashley from Ashley & Dizzle, and yours truly.

I learned that coconut frozen yogurt topped with coconut flakes and candy is incredible. And if you eat enough of it, your sugar high will last long enough to get you to a sub-2 hour half marathon the next morning. Bonus!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Attention All Jumpers - Jumping Contest!

A few months ago when I ran the Ogden Marathon I saw a photographer at mile 25 of the race and offered to jump for his picture. It turned out to be one of my favorite jumping shots. Only In Ogden said I could share the picture with you:

Lets do a contest! Email me your best jumping picture to coryreese1@hotmail.com (doesn't need to be during a race, send it as a jpg attachment). I will post them here, we will do a vote to see whose picture is best, and I'll come up with a cheesy prize for the winner.

I can't wait to see your jumping skillz!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

South Valley Half Marathon Review 2011

My legs were feeling pretty good on Saturday after having completed the Triple Crown of running earlier in the week: a hill workout, a speed workout, and a tempo run. The last time I did all those in one week was probably, um, never. I had a feeling the South Valley Half Marathon was going to be a good race.

You'll never believe who sat in front of me on the bus ride to the starting line: Yanni! Yep, that stunning piano player with the flowing, black hair sat right in front of me. Or maybe it was his twin. Whoever it was, they could win a Yanni-Look-Alike-Contest.

My bus arrived at the starting line about an hour before the race. Here is the procedure:
1) Get off the bus.
2) Immediately go get in a line for the port-o-potty.
3) It doesn't matter that you don't need to go to the bathroom. By the time you've waited your turn and actually get to the front, your bladder will be on the verge of bursting.
4) Panic that the race might start before you even get to the front of the line.

As I was serving my time waiting in line we watched the sun slowly creep to the horizon.

I broke one of the Unwritten Rules Of Running: NEVER race in the shirt you were given for that race at packet pickup the night before. It makes you look like a newbie. Well, that's dumb. I'm going to wear whatever shirt I want. Plus, I really liked their shirt with the logo "Only Half Crazy".

As we were standing at the starting line I decided I was actually going to race. I was going to go big and see how much I could push myself. Most of the time I slow down a little and just have fun. You know.... just enjoy the experience. I haven't actually "raced" a race for almost a year so I decided I'd give it a whirl. I set my goal: finish Under Two Hours.

A few minutes after the race started we saw an amazing sunrise. The hazy sky really made the light erupt and it looked like the mountains in the distance were on fire.

The sunrise looked irresistibly cool. I couldn't help myself from stopping to take pictures. This makes the plan to "race" a little more difficult when you're constantly stopping to take pictures. I took nearly 50 pictures while I was supposed to be "racing".

There were tons of sunflowers along the road and I knew I'd kick myself if I passed up that photo opportunity.

At mile five I saw something unfortunate: Yanni on the side of the road barfing his guts out. I promise. I have a witness! His name is Jeff. Jeff found me earlier in the day and came up and said he liked my blog. Jeff and I ran for a while and were joined by another guy who said he liked my blog and we swapped marathon stories. Good times were had by all.

I was shocked pleasantly surprised that I was still running at a good clip as we got into the race. I ran this pace a few days earlier for three miles and wanted to die. Then, just to keep my confidence in check, I was introduced to Heartbreak Hill.

Here is an elevation chart from my watch. Toward the top of that hill I almost cried Uncle.

My body has some warning signs when I am pushing too hard: my arms start getting tingly and my back gets really tight. Those started happening in the last 4 miles and I was getting tired. My left calf started to cramp up but I was still able to keep pushing. I knew I'd have to work in those last few miles if I was going to meet my goal.

The last half mile was the hardest but when I saw the finish line I gave one last kick to get me across, and.....I barely achieved my goal of finishing under two hours!

My mile splits were: 8:24, 8:30, 8:57, 9:07, 9:20, (welcome to Heartbreak Hill) 9:41, 9:39, 9:49, 8:35, 8:55, 8:34, 9:11, & 8:56. I couldn't have been tireder happier! I was surprised to see Yanni come in not too far behind me despite his Mile 5 Vomit!

Jeff and I talked after the race and he did great. Bonus points to Jeff for immediately popping his thumb up for a picture. I always go with the Hitchhiker Thumb in pictures too (unless I'm jumping).

What was really awesome is that my mom was able to come to the finish line. The race was close to her house and it was great to see her. I warned her to not get too close because I was covered in approximately seven gallons of sweat. But she didn't listen.

I had lots of fun at the South Valley Half Marathon. It felt good to really push myself and achieve the goal I had set. My legs are sore after running hard. Try telling my calves that I am "Only Half Crazy."

"Running has taken me in, and continues to comfort, heal and challenge me in all kinds of magical ways. I am not a 'good runner' because I am me. I am a good 'me' because I am a runner."
~ Kristin Armstrong, Author and runner

Friday, August 19, 2011

My Brush With Fame: Bart Yasso Style

“You have to forget your last marathon before you try another. Your mind can’t know what’s coming.”
~ Frank Shorter

Monday, August 15th 2011: 4 miles @ 9:34 minutes per mile pace. I did pretty much the same hill workout from last week, 724 feet gained over the 4 miles.

Tuesday, August 16th 2011:
7 Yassos at the track! (3:53, 3:46, 3:41, 3:49, 3:45, 3:48, and 3:27.) Any marathon runner worth his weight in Gu packets has heard of Yasso 800s developed by the Mayor of Running, Bart Yasso:
1) Run 2 times around the track (= 800 meters or 1/2 mile)
2) Run the 800 meters in your marathon goal time (For a marathon goal of 3 hours & 15 minutes you would do the 800m in 3 minutes & 15 seconds.)
3) Add a Yasso 800 each week until you peak at 10 Yassos a few weeks before the marathon.
4) According to Yasso, if you can do 10 at your goal time you should be prepared for that speed in the marathon.

I feel very fortunate that me and Bart Yasso are Best Friends Forever (if BFF = I met him at the Ogden Marathon expo last year). Bart is an excellent speaker and writer, and I'm anxious to see how my BFF Bart does in predicting my time for the Top of Utah Marathon in one month.

Wednesday, August 17th 2011: 13 mile bike ride @ 16.4 mph. The whole issue with the days getting shorter is really cramping my style. This was as long as I could ride before work. I'm not a fan of riding in the dark because, well, I'd prefer to be alive.

Thursday, August 18th 2011: 4 mile tempo run (warm-up, 3 miles @ 8:50 minutes per mile, then cool-down). I like tempo runs as much as I'd like getting paper cuts on my eyeballs. And it was unearthly hot. I met up with my friend Boyd half way through the run and we talked for a bit (talking = Boyd talking while I gasped for air and tried to keep my lungs from igniting.) This lasted for about 1/3 of a mile before my train went off the track and I told him to go ahead.

And then something unique happened: I started sweating lava. I know, strange. Molten lava was coming out of my skin. I figured my body had a 94.7% chance of spontaneously combusting. When I got home I was feeling sorry for myself because the run was so miserable. I thought "Maybe you're just not meant to go fast." I promptly gave myself a round-house kick to the skull and reminded myself that a while ago I was working through knee issues and would have killed to run an 8:50 mile. So I stopped whining to myself and felt thankful that my body was covered in lava.

Friday, August 19th 2011: 15.3 mile bike ride @ 13.4 mph + Carbo-loading (aka: pack of Hostess Donuts) for the South Valley Half Marathon tomorrow! Legs are feeling fully recovered from the Moonlight Half Marathon last weekend. The best part: being in Salt Lake = Slurpees from 7-11!!!

What famous people have you met?
Bart Yasso is on my list along with Karl Malone a few times, Gordon B. Hinckley, and President George Bush (the old one). My sister had lunch with Ross Perot a few weeks ago! Her description: "He is short."

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Jumping With My Blogger Friends

(Side note: spontaneous half marathon on Saturday! I was invited to the South Valley Half Marathon coming up in three more days. Let me know if you're running this race.)

A few hours before the Moonlight Half Marathon on Friday I met up with some fellow bloggers at Yogurtland. Admittedly, an alarm went off somewhere inside me as I was eating a large bowl of coconut frozen yogurt topped with M&Ms. I realized this may not be the smartest thing to be doing a few hours before running a half marathon. (Fortunately no problems resulted from my decision.)

I met Amylee from Run My Guts Out, Rachelle from Running For Trevor, and Julia from Pain, Pride, & Perseverance. As we were leaving, someone (surprisingly not me!) suggested we get a jumping picture together.

My friend from St. George, Dr. Greg Taylor and his wife happened to show up at Yogurtland too. So I asked if he’d take a jumping picture for us. His wife said “I’ll take it, I’ve taken some jumping pictures before.” It turns out she was a jumping picture expert! She gave great coaching, and offered to take multiple pictures until we got it right. One of my favorites is this outtake as we were trying to get into the zone.

A few tries later we finally got it right:

After all their effort, I definitely owed the Taylors a jumping picture. I’m glad they took me up on the offer. They got this one on their first try!

I was highly impressed with everybody's jumping abilities!
Style: A+
Grace: A+
Technique: A+
Synchronization: A+
Serious Kangaroo skillz: A+++++

Monday, August 15, 2011

Moonlight Half Marathon Review 2011

I was excited to run the Mapleton Moonlight Half Marathon because it was so different from any other race I’ve done. There were no watches allowed and the winner was the person who finished closest to midnight. I’ll be honest; when I pulled into Mapleton I was skeptical about promises of a big party at the finish line. I wondered how the dozen residents of Mapleton (okay, maybe a few more than that) could make this into an event.

I was scheduled for the first bus to the starting line leaving at 8:00pm. The bad part about this was more time waiting at the starting line. The good part was absolutely no lines at the port-o-potties. There was a huge field surrounded by beautiful mountains where the runners waited at the starting line. (Yep, bright vests were required.)

It was so strange to not have a starting time for the race! On the arch of the starting line you could see what time it was, and runners could start whenever they wanted. Remember – the race isn’t timed and you want to finish at midnight.

I had a potentially catastrophic wardrobe malfunction: I LEFT MY HEAD LAMP IN MY SUITCASE AT HOME!!!! I am OCD about this kind of stuff. I don’t do dumb things like this! I could have gone Chuck Norris on myself. Thankfully they had free headlamps at the packet pickup. This was my salvation. I restrained my inner Walker, Texas Ranger.

It was so funny to watch runners as they caught the urge and decided to dart past the starting line. Everyone was a little apprehensive, not wanting to start too soon or too late.

I love this picture which I think was so symbolic of the race. At some point you have to leave the light and safety of the starting line and enter the unknown and darkness in front of you. I suppose that’s true for every race, even if it’s not in the dark.

I started the race a little after 9:30pm, planning to take it easy and just have fun. At the first mile marker I heard someone’s watch beep. I considered going Chuck Norris on them with my enormous muscles but restrained myself. It was a unique challenge to take race pictures in the dark. I couldn’t pass up a chance at a sunflower.

For some reason I never quite got into a groove for this race. Maybe it was all the junk food I had eaten earlier in the day. I never felt out of breath and nothing on me was hurting. I just felt like a slug. I felt like I was trying to run a half marathon in a swimming pool. As a wise man once said, “You’ve got to know when to hold them, and know when to fold them.” I felt like my body decided to fold them at about mile two. I did enjoy running under a full moon:

I ran some parts of the race by myself but soon joined a group of runners that looked like a millipede of glow sticks ahead of me. Runners were given lots of glow sticks at the starting line and it was awesome to see colored glow sticks weaving through the dark.

I had no idea how close I was to midnight as I neared the finish line. It was cool that you had to cross under the finish arch and then you could turn around to see what the time was when you finished. This is what I saw!

I couldn’t believe I was so close to midnight! 11:58:50pm. I was only one minute and ten seconds too fast! This is as close as I will ever come to winning a race. And then one minute later midnight arrived. And guess what happened…….FIREWORKS!

When was the last time you finished a race and then had fireworks go off? Never? Yea, me too. I was really impressed. I was also really happy to be done.

I immediately realized that I was wrong about my skepticism about a party at the finish line. There were lots of people hanging out, music playing, and some of the best food I have laid my hands on at a finish line. They had bananas, watermelon, chocolate milk, ice cream sandwiches, pizza, and the most amazing chocolate brownies that have ever entered my mouth. These brownies were seriously insane in the membrane. Forget medals, just give finishers lots of these brownies.

During the race I promised myself that I’d stop and get a Slurpee on the way home if I made it to the finish line. So at 1:30am I pulled into 7-Eleven and there was a guy throwing up all over the sidewalk. He just kept going and going. Previously I would have told you that nothing in this world could make a Slurpee seem less appealing. But I found something that made a Slurpee a little less appealing: walking past a puddle of barf to get your Slurpee.

The Moonlight Half Marathon was a fun experience. My only suggestion for next year would be to make the medal in the shape of a brownie.

“In running it is man against himself, the cruelest of opponents. The other runners are not the real enemies. His adversary lies within him, in his ability with brain and heart to master himself and his emotions.”
~ Glenn Cunningham

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Hills, Speed Training, and More Hills.....Oh My

Monday, August 8th 2011: 4 miles of hills @ 9:59 minutes per mile. I found a big hill. Early in the morning. Then I ran up and down it. For four miles. I'm working on having more of a purpose for each of my runs. No more messing around if I'm really going to shoot for a marathon PR this year. I only had one chunky burp the whole time! Sweet.

Tuesday, August 9th 2011: The local high school finished construction of a brand new track which is gorgeous. My first run on the new track couldn't have been better. I did six Yasso 800's with my times being: 3:54, 3:41, 3:39, 3:43, 3:36, and I tempted vomit with my last 800 @ 3:25. It was a very happy morning and I can't wait to spend more time here!

Wednesday, August 10th 2011: 22 mile bike ride in 1 hour & 27 minutes (average 15.2 mph). I did the Sand Hollow Loop clockwise which I think is much harder. I was feeling manly though so I manned up and went clockwise.

I was averaging 16.8 mph until the last stretch of road that has some overly manly hills. It's rough because first you reach the Baby Hill (which isn't much of a baby). Then you reach the Mama Hill. And its a big mama. By the time you reach the top of the Mama Hill you are ready to lay down on the side of the road and suck your thumb.

But once you reach the top of that, you are on the highway to the danger zone (thank you Kenny Loggins and Top Gun). You reach the Papa Hill and find out how manly you really are. So I took it right into the danger zone, the big daddy hill which is named Widowmaker:

I survived the danger zone, although when all was said and done my average mph dropped from 16.8 to 15.2. It has been a great week so far, and only one more day until the Midnight Half Marathon. Stay tuned!

Do you do hill work as part of your marathon training?
Never done much myself but I'm going to add a weekly hill training to prepare for a few big upcoming marathons. I think it will really help.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Follow Your Dreams - And Contest Winner!

A winner for The Happiness Project book has been chosen. As determined from a random number generator, the winner is......Christina @ The Athletarian!

I seriously wish I had a book to give each of you. It is just so good. I did plenty of highlighting in the book I bought. It is definitely one worth purchasing.

Finally, I loved this reminder to Follow Your Dreams.

Monday, August 8, 2011

More Answers From Q&A

Here are a few more Q&A's:

Christi asked: How exactly do you get those great jumping photos? Does it take multiple shots?
If I try a jumping picture during a training run, I usually take a few and pick the best. But just to prove that the jumping pictures I take aren’t doctored, here are some actual race pictures:

What is one race you can't wait to do?
The one race I can’t wait to do is the marathon where I break 4 hours. I think I might need a pacer who will carry me the last six miles to make it happen.

Coy asked: did you start playing the piano?? Do you have a baby grand in your home ;)
I started playing the piano around age 18. I’m kind of limited though because I never took lessons so I still can’t read sheet music. I do have a baby grand which the kids have started playing (they take lessons from a real piano teacher). More info about my piano music is at www.coryreese.com

Amylee asked: Do you use photoshop? Do you alter the saturation on your photos? Or are your skills just unmatched?
I boost the saturation on almost all pictures. I think that’s the best way to give an image of what the eye sees because most cameras suck out some of the color.

Rachelle asked: What is your all time ultimate dream race?
Finishing a 100 miler is probably my ultimate dream. There are a few I'm considering: The Buffalo Run 100 miler next March in Salt Lake, the Rocky Road 100 miler next February in California, or the Zion 100 next May which is basically in my back yard.

Are you interested in doing an Iron man or ultra marathon?
I would love to do Ironman if we could cut out the swimming. I hate water. This year I did a 50 miler and a 50k ultramarathon but next year I really want to shoot for a 100 mile ultramarathon.

What is your secret to your amazing pictures? Do tell!
I think the secret is that I take lots of pictures until I get one where the color and lighting and angle are just right. Plus the scenery in southern Utah is awesome so it's hard to take a bad picture.

Do your kids think your as funny as I do?
Funny.....maybe. Funny-looking.....definitely. They are as crazy as me:

Can we hangout and go to the hostess store next time your up north?
Definitely! It seems like every runner is into frozen yogurt right now which I'm cool with because that leaves more donuts for me.

Jess asked: Who's your favorite artist Celine Dion or Heart? I love both of them and will sing you one of their songs anytime!
I heard both "artist's" CDs are used to torture prisoners of war. I can't think of a worse torture than having to listen to this music.

Who's your favorite couple to vacation with?
Will Ferrell and Jim Carrey

Why haven't we, meaning you, me and Mel, gone on any runs together? Getting a jumping picture with you is on my bucket list!
You just say when and we're there. (You must have an entertaining bucket list.)