Thursday, August 29, 2013

Color Me Rad 5k Free Race Entries!

I remember the first year that the Color Me Rad 5k came to my neck of the woods in St. George Utah. I looked at all my friend's Facebook pictures and it looked like everyone was running through multi-colored fireworks.

I thought to myself "Self......people are really paying money to run through explosions of colored corn starch?" But when I looked into Color Me Rad even more, I realized that the race stands for exactly what I believe about running: that running should be fun. Like seriously fun. It's not always about obsessing over a time on your Garmin.

What I admired most about the race was that it drew so many people to running for the first time. I had so many friends and family members who chose this as their first race ever because of the fun environment. Heck, after that race you could close your eyes, throw a Twinkie (although I don't recommend wasting them like that) and hit someone wearing a Color Me Rad shirt. I love how the race opened running up to so many people. (Plus they make a huge charity donation as well.)

The race is coming up again in St. George on September 28th. This is your opportunity to sneeze rainbows for a week! You can visit their website HERE to get more information and to register. Also, the super awesome folks at CMR have donated two free race entries to give away right here. Boom! All you have to do is leave a comment here saying you're interested. A winner will be drawn using on Tuesday September 3rd to get the pair of tickets. Good luck!

Monday, August 26, 2013

How To See Care Bears On Your Trail Run

70 miles of running this past week. That's my highest in the last few months. There were quite a few adventures in those 70 miles.

Monday, August 19th 2013: 30 miles @ 14:47 minutes per mile.
Tuesday, August 20th 2013: Nada
Wednesday, August 21st 2013: 7 miles @ 11:46 minutes per mile.
Thursday, August 22nd 2013: 8 miles @ 10:25 minutes per mile.
Friday, August 23rd 2013: 5 miles @ 9:51 minutes per mile.
Saturday, August 24th 2013: 20 miles @ 12:30 minutes per mile.

For today’s lesson we’re going to talk about how to see Care Bears in the middle of your trail run. I consider myself an authority on the matter following my 30 mile run this past week.

Step # 1: Decide that since there is a 100 miler coming up in a few months, it would be a good time to fit in a 30 mile training run. Ignore the weather forecast saying that today’s temperature resembles the lairs of the underworld. After all, heat training is good for you. Stop being a baby! Pull over to the side of the road during your drive to the trail because the sunrise is saaaweeeeet.

Step #2: Drive to the Chinle Trail. Ignore that sign at the trailhead saying that mountain lions may be in the area. Surely your muscles slightly larger than tooth floss will be able to fend off a hungry cougar. The Chinle Trail is good training for Javelina. Some smooth, some hills, and some technical.

Step #3: When you get to mile 18 and your brain has zoned out, don’t forget to jump over that snake laying right across the middle of the trail.

Step #4: Be thankful that animal is a snake instead of a famished mountain lion.

Step #5: Heck, if that snake is just going to lay there begging to have his picture taken then just take a picture already.

Step #6: Just run and run. And run. Run. R. U. N. You might as well listen to ESPN radio for a few hours on your mp3 player since you are able to get reception in the middle of nowhere. Enjoy the scenery.

Step #7: When it is so hot that you feel your flesh melting off your bones, you are allowed to walk in certain sections that are so smooth and flat that you should be running.

Step #8: Finish the 30 miles and get back to your car. Turn on the car. Look at temperature. Yes, the temperature really does have three digits. If that isn’t enough to make you hallucinate some Care Bears along the trail, nothing will.

In all honesty, I didn’t have any hallucinations. It was downright roasting outside but I’ve gotten pretty heat acclimatized so with plenty of water it was manageable. The last time I ran the Chinle Trail it snowed! I am hopeful that it won’t be quite this hot at Javelina. My legs were plenty dirty when I got home. (Still some lingering toe nail polish from when my girls painted them before the Bryce 100.)

On Friday’s 5 miler I decided I’d see how fast I could do the last mile. It ended up being 7:06. It’s been a long time since I tried to run a fast mile, but I’m sure that is the fasted mile I’ve run in at least a year.

Saturday morning I did 20 miles. The first 8 were on the roads around our house, including a complementary lovely sunrise.

Those 8 miles were accompanying my wife Mel. We ran past the grocery store with scents of freshly baked glazed donuts calling our name. Note to self: Bring money next time you run past the grocery store.

I finished the rest of my miles meandering around the base of Gooseberry Mesa.

I ran some trails that I hadn't been on in four months since the Zion 100. That brought back good memories of running this section with Shacky and Vanessa from

I seriously love these desolate, dry desert trails.

Stay tuned - in a few days I'll be having a contest for some free entries into a "rad" race.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

The Most Beautiful Place On Earth - The Wave

In all my travels I have seen some downright amazing places. But I think The Wave might take the cake as the most beautiful place ever. I was looking through some pictures and realized that I hadn't shared with you some shots from my last trip to The Wave.

It's very difficult to get permits to The Wave. Only 20 people are allowed to visit this little slice of Arizona each day. When my brother-in-law Matt landed an extra ticket I couldn't pass it up. I think this was my fourth trip here, and it is undoubtedly a photographer's paradise.

Forgive me for getting all preachy, but when you're standing in a place like this you can't help but believe that some Divine creator had a hand in this. I think The Wave is God's Picasso. Check out these pictures from the area and I think you might feel the same.

Props to Matt Anderson for snapping these cool running pictures:

"Never lose an opportunity of seeing anything beautiful, for beauty is God's handwriting." ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Monday, August 19, 2013

The Most Valuable Part Of Last Week's Training

Last week my body said "Hey Cory, you should take a rest week this week. It will be awesome. You can sleep later than 5am. By the way, have you noticed that your hair is getting a little should I say this.....grey? And remember when the Boot Scootin' Boogie was popular? Ahhh, the good old days."

Monday, August 12th 2013: 4 miles speed.
Tuesday, August 13th 2013: 4 miles early, 10 miles at night.
Wednesday, August 14th 2013: Nothing.
Thursday, August 15th 2013: See Wednesday.
Friday, August 16th 2013: 5 miles.
Saturday, August 17th 2013: 17 miles.

On Tuesday night I went out for some night trail running. On an enjoyment scale of 1 through 10, this run was -16. I felt sleepy and my legs felt like pizza dough. When I finished ten miles it was nearly midnight. Seeing nothing but the moon and a few feet of trail in front of me makes me tired. Here was my view for a few hours:

Despite being less than enjoyable, I gained something very valuable from the run. It came from a podcast I listened to by Trail Runner Nation about race strategy. There were lots of tips that apply to marathons, triathlons, ultras...whatever. Do yourself a favor and check it out HERE. It will change the way you think about racing.

On Saturday I ran 17 miles with Mel, Karrie, and Shane. It was a toasty 85 degrees when we STARTED running. No bueno.

Mel wasn't feeling great so she headed back early. All the while the temperature kept climbing. Once the sun came up I swear you could smell burning flesh. At the precise moment when we decided we'd succumb to heat stroke and let the vultures eat our carcasses, Karrie had a brilliant idea: stop at the upcoming 7-11 gas station for Cokes. It didn't take much to convince us. The gas station also has a walk in beer cooler which we took advantage of to cool off for a few minutes. Pure, pure heaven.

One thing I am super excited about - I will be running the Mid Mountain Marathon in Park City coming up on September 7th! I have run 50k, 50 mile, 100k, and 100 mile races on a trail but never a trail marathon. I can't wait. I'd love to see some of you Utah peeps there. Let me know if you're running that one.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

One Reason I Love My Wife

This hot girl moved to my school when I was a sophomore in high school. She sat next to me in history class and laughed at my jokes. I don't remember a thing I learned in that class. I wanted to marry her.

If I could have seen a preview of my life nearly 20 years later I would have been pretty excited. That girl married me. Now we have three kids. A house. A big black poodle named Aunt Jackie. (Aunt Jackie is a boy.)

I love Mel for lots of reasons. She is funny and giving. Thoughtful and compassionate. Another thing I love and appreciate is how supportive she is of my running. I was scared when I first told her I wanted to run a 100 miler. Instead of saying what an idiotic idea that is, she said "Go for it!" She has paced and crewed for me. She is always encouraging if I mention a race I'm considering.

I don't want my running to take away from family so I do most of my miles when the family is sleeping, but she is okay with me escaping to the trails on an afternoon every once in a while. I love when we are able to get out and run together.

Saturday was one of those completely fun times together. I ran 26 miles in Warner Valley and Mel joined for the first ten. We started early when it was only 75 degrees outside. The light was good so we took a jumping picture. Or four.

A little bit of cloud cover made the temperature tolerable for the first hour or so:

And all too soon the run added another degree of difficulty: the sun came up. The

That cute girl from my high school history class:

After 10 miles we got back to the car and Mel headed out. The last 16 were insanely hot and not the slightest sliver of shade. The midday sun is always my nemesis in long races. It got up to 93 degrees on my run but for some reason I was having one of those fluke days where I felt really good. I felt like I could have run 50 if I had the time. (Wish those days happened more often.)

The last few miles I started to feel a little bonky. I expected that though because I wanted to get a little training about being in the pain cave so I didn't take in too many calories. During the run I had a piece of banana bread, a Red Bull, and one of these little morsels of heaven.

"Happy is the man who finds a true friend, and far happier is he who finds that true friend in his wife." ~ Franz Schubert

Monday, August 12, 2013

Craziness At The County Fair and Amazing Flowers

The highlight of last week for our family was the county fair. For the sake of discussion, let’s say you’ve never been to the Washington County Fair. Here is what you’re missing:

1) An unusually high ratio of mullets. I seriously can’t understand how this happens. How do so many mullets pop out of the woodwork?

2) A show with dancing pink poodles. I know what you’re thinking: “Wow Cory, when did you start taking acid?" This truly wasn’t a drug-induced hallucination.

3) Unique carnival workers. And by “unique” I mean “seriously creepy”.

4) Lots of carnival rides that our stomachs were not equipped to handle. During one ride my daughter gripped my arm, dry heaved, and said “Make it stop daddy!” It is a true act of God that I did not end up covered in barf.

In far less thrilling news, I got in 58 miles running last week.

Monday, August 5th 2013: 10 miles at an obscenely early hour before work.
Tuesday, August 6th 2013: 10 miles in the evening.
Wednesday, August 7th 2013: Nada.
Thursday, August 8th 2013: 5 miles before work in the Desert Reserve.
Friday, August 9th 2013: 7 miles early.
Saturday, August 10th 2013: 26 miles in Warner Valley.

For Monday’s run I wanted to get some trail miles in the dark. I’m not very good at trails in the dark so I need more practice. Sometimes when I’m alone in the dark on a trail I worry that a mountain lion will turn me into a light snack. But the only animals I saw were of few of these:

Tuesday’s 10 miler was a hefty dose of heat training. I went up near Gooseberry Mesa which was toasty hot but totally beautiful.

There were these amazing purple flowers blooming all over the place. I’ve run around here a bunch but never seen these flowers. Wow.

What was that? You want to see more? Allllllllllrighty then. (Name that movie.)

There were these little insect-like things buzzing all over the purple flowers. I’ve never seen them before either. They looked like a mix of a butterfly, a hummingbird, and a moth. And they are fast!

If anyone ever wants to join me on a little jaunt out here let me know. I’d love to show you around. It’s basically a little chunk of heaven.

My destination was the Yellowman Petroglyphs (also some pictographs). They are some secret panels and since they are so hard to find, they are still well-preserved.

The Yellow Man is quite unique partly because of the yellow pigment and partly because it is so high up the wall that I’m not sure how someone was able to get up high enough to make it.

I’ve heard there are other petroglyphs in the area so I went scouting around a little bit but the only thing I found were some cool layered rocks.

Saturday I got in a ridiculously hot 26 miles around Warner Valley. Mel joined me for the first ten miles.

I love running with my wife. Sometimes we just run in silence. Sometimes we talk about the kids. Sometimes we talk about what to have for dinner tomorrow. Sometimes we talk about shows we loved as kids. (Alf, Charles In Charge, Mr. Belvedere, The Monkees, etc.) The miles always fly by.