Sunday, March 18, 2018

2018 St. Patrick's Day 5k; Race Report #25

     Yesterday Robin and I again headed to Bakersfield for the St. Patrick's Day 5k. It had rained all night but we were hoping the storm would clear out enough for us to run and be dry. I was looking forward to running on a flat fast course to gauge my fitness. Last Tuesday I did my first track workout since last July and I'm confident I'm over the plantar fasciitis issues I was having a few months ago. The track workout went well, so I was hoping to break 21 minutes in the 5k.
     Another reason I was pumped up about the race is my son Kris had sent me some new Nike Zoom Fly shoes and I was really excited to try them out.
     We got to the race about an hour before the start and grabbed our bibs. I put the new shoes on and did a mile and a quarter easy run to feel them out. They definitely felt different than anything I had ever worn. I could feel the plate inside the shoe as I rocked forward while running slow. After my warm-up, I headed back to the car to shed my sweats and get ready for the race. By this time Trevor, Andrea, Mark, and Joan had joined us. We all headed to the start area where we found Melissa and Lacey, also from Lebec. I did my drills and strides and moved towards the front to wait for the starting command.

Spectacular morning for the 2018 Bakersfield St. Patrick's Day 5k

     Jeff Moffit, the race director came to the front, gave us all the pertinent race instructions, and we were off. We had only gone a few hundred yards when I checked my Garmin watch for my pace and I was running way too fast. I made an effort to slow down and I settled into a pace that felt fast but comfortable. Soon I forgot all about the shoes and just zoned in on my race. I felt my watch buzz and I looked down to check my split. I was shocked to see a 6:20 on the screen. I figured it was too late to do anything about going too quick now so I decided to keep pushing until I blew up and staggered into the finish. It wasn't much farther when I came across the two leaders running side by side on their way back. 

The two leaders battling it out at the 2018 Bakersfield St. Patrick's Day 5k.

     When I got close to the turn around I saw there was nothing to go around. There were two trash receptacles on the left side and the two guys in front of me that I could see just turned around at the second yellow barrel. It seemed a little strange but according to my watch, we were close to halfway. 
     The way out on the out and back course was a slight downhill which meant the way back would be slightly uphill. The bike path also had two underpasses each way we had to navigate which threw a little hill in at each one. Soon my watch buzzed again and I looked down to check my split. It was a 6:23. I thought not too bad considering I had to slow down and re-accelerate at the turnaround. Now I just had to maintain the pace to the finish. 
     I really concentrated on my arms, just keep them moving but I could feel myself slowing down ever so slightly as we went up the gradual grade. Still, I was way ahead of where I thought I would be time wise. One of the underpasses happens relatively close to the finish and it really did me in. I dug deep and tried to maintain form all the way to the line. My third mile was a 6:37, so I slowed down 15 seconds over mile two. My final time for the race was 19:35, but I think the course might have been a little short. My Garmin said 3.05 miles so I was probably 20-30 seconds short of a 5k but my time was still about a minute faster than I expected to run.
     I quickly grabbed a bottle of water from one of the many helpful volunteers and started walking backward on the course cheering on the finishers as they came in. It wasn't long before I saw Trevor, then a few minutes later came Mark.

Trevor powering to the finish sporting his green colors at the St. Patrick's Day 5k.

     With Mark and Trevor finished I started running back along the course to look for Robin. Somehow I missed Lacey, but I did see Melissa, then a few seconds later I found Robin. I ran with her to the finish to complete my warm down. 
     The awards ceremony happened soon after everyone had finished. I was 8th overall, and first in the 50-59 age group. Melissa took 1st in the 60-69 females with Robin second. Mark won a couple of prizes for his costume so we all left happy and headed to BJ's for post-run nourishment and beverages.

The cool age group medals had a built-in bottle opener on the back.

My Bison Burger and salad at BJ's after the St. Patrick's Day 5k.

     The course was easy so I'll call this a lager race. The entry was fair, 25.00 for a late entry that included a shirt. There was an abundance of volunteers to help with everything except for the turnaround point. In spite of this, with the cool awards that were given out, I'm going to call this a 5 lager race out of a possible of six. The race needed a cone to go around at the halfway point, and free Guinness for the adults would have been a nice touch on St. Patrick's Day. On top of all this, I really liked my new shoes and a shoe report will be forthcoming after some more miles in them.

Sunday, February 25, 2018

C.S.U.B. PEAK Valentine's 10k Run 2018; Race Report #24

     On February 10th, Robin and I once again made the trip to Bakersfield for a 10k run at Cal State Bakersfield. The PEAK Valentines Day run benefited the kinesiology department and is always a great race with awesome awards. Last year at this time the Valentines Day Race was the first time I tried to walk and run after my prostate surgery and I did the 5k with Robin. This year since we are currently focusing our training on Robin being able to run the trail marathon at Lone Pine in May we opted for the longer distance. I also thought it would be cool if I could run the 10k as fast as we did the 5k the previous year but a recent bout with a bad sinus and chest cold nixed that plan. Our friends Trevor and Andrea pre-entered also but were kept away because of the flu and late night issues out of town.
     We arrived, got our packets and shirts, and I went for a warm-up run along with my several pre-race bathroom stops.

Everyone checking in prior to the start of the race

     The race was timed by the Bakersfield Track Club, and they were trying out a new system where we wore a tag on our shoe as well as pinning one on our hip. This brought about a few glitches which meant the race started a few minutes late but it wasn't a big deal. The weather was warm for this time of year so it's not like we had to keep doing strides to keep warm. When the gun went off I started out easy and tried to settle into my 7 to 7:10 pace so as not to burn myself out too quickly.

Everyone taking off at the start of the 5 and 10k.

     My son Kris gave me a pair of Nike Lunarepic Flyknit 2 shoes for Christmas and I decided to wear them in the race. They were very comfortable, and after I do a few more runs in them I will do a shoe report on them.
     I hit the first mile in 7:03 which was right about what I wanted. I hit miles 2 and 3 in 7:01 and 7:07 and felt great, but that's when things changed. First, most of the runners took the turn to run just a 5k. I had no one left to chase. Second, the course had a lot of tight turns in the fourth mile which made it hard to keep up a steady pace. Between having no one to follow and hitting the sharp turns I lost my momentum. My pace for the fourth mile dropped to 7:26. On mile five I picked it back up to 7:19, but then fell back to 7:26 for mile six. I finished the race in 45:36 and the race came out to 6.3 miles. I didn't quite reach my goal of mid 42's that I had run the 5k in a year earlier after surgery.
     I grabbed a bottle of water and headed out back on the course in search of Robin for my cool down. It took me just over a mile to find her. She was running for 2 songs and walking for one and looked great. I paced her into the finish chute in a time of 1:22.

Robin heading to the finish of the PEAK Valentines Day Run.

     There was a lot of confusion after the race since some people that signed up for the 10k actually ran the 5k so it took quite awhile for the results to be finished and the awards to be handed out. When it was done though the awards and raffle were awesome. I was first in my age group, even though they announced me as second. The other guy ran the 5k. Robin got second in her age group and we both won fantastic raffle prizes. 
The awards for the race were fantastic. Each one was unique.

     After the race was over we headed to Lengthwise Brewing next to the C.S.U.B. campus for some much-deserved post-race food and refreshments.

Tacos and beer at Lengthwise after the race.

     As far as a rating for this race I have to mark it down 2 beers. It was a fantastic race, great awards, inexpensive to enter, and great raffle prizes. Since it was a flat course I'm, calling this a lager race. It's good for flatlanders and walkers. My final race rating then is a four lager race. We are definitely looking forward to next year and doing it again.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Aggressive Prostate Cancer fueled by Western Diet

     When I was diagnosed with prostate cancer I read about some natural remedies that many people claim to help ward off the disease. One of the things I noticed was that in certain parts of the world prostate cancer is rare as opposed to how common it has become in the western world. I have changed my diet, eating more salads, fruit, and less red meat. I also researched that many hospitals have their patients on a "cancer diet" to help fight off the disease.
     Last month I read an article posted in the Daily Mail about a breakthrough in research that finally connected the western diet with aggressive forms of prostate cancer. Click on the Daily Mail link in the previous sentence to read the article. The research was done by Harvard and Beth Israel. For those of us who have had the prostate cancer diagnosis the fact that we can change our diet to help prevent the disease from metastasizing is fantastic.Notice I said help prevent, anything that slows down aggressive prostate cancer is a great thing, but it doesn't say it reverses the disease. It's not that hard to only have a cheeseburger once in a while instead of on a regular basis. Not only that, it's good for my running. I already have switched to veggie pizza, and I eat raspberries with my cottage cheese every day for breakfast. I do enjoy treating myself to a good meal when we run, but that is now my exception, not the norm.
     I was one of those people that thought that because I ran so much I could eat anything and burn it off. My doctor in the 1970's even said this to me. We all know now that this isn't the case. No matter how much we train we must still be watchful of what we put into our bodies.

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Bakersfield Fog Run 2018; Race Report #23

   Yesterday Robin and I headed North to the outskirts of Bakersfield, CA for the 29th annual Fog Run. Unlike most years, there was no fog and it was warm. A few sprinkles greeted us as we arrived in Bakersfield but they quickly dissipated as we got close to Lake Ming where the race would start and finish. When we made the turn down towards the lake I couldn't help but reminisce about the 1980's when we used to come to the same exact spot for the Bud Light Triathalon that was an Ironman Kona qualifier back then.
     We were early enough to get lakefront parking close to the start and finish area. With close to 600 runners entered many who arrived late had to park outside of the gates and walk to the start/finish area. Robin grabbed our bibs and shirts, we filled out our raffle tickets and dropped them into the box hoping to win tickets to a Bakersfield Condors game. I started getting my stuff ready. I elected to wear my Nike Terra Kiger trail shoes for the race.

Runners getting checked in and ready at the Bakersfield Fog Run.

     I set off on a mile and a half warm-up while Robin elected to stay in the car. The temperature was 60 degrees, and it was the sixth of January. This was probably the nicest day for a Fog Run in the 29 years of the race. There were some high clouds and no wind. 
The view across Lake Ming towards the sunrise while I was warming up for the Bakersfield Fog Run.

     I finished my warm-up and decided it was too warm to wear my arm sleeves. I had sunscreen on already in case I went this route. About this time our friends Trevor and Andrea showed up and we all headed towards the start. 
     The race consisted of a 5 and 10k. The 10k would be starting first at 8:00 AM and the 5k started ten minutes later at 8:10 AM. All four of us elected to enter the 10k to get the mileage in since we are training for the Wild Wild West Marathon that would be happening in just four short months. 
     Before the race started we were treated to a color guard and a beautiful rendition of the Star Spangled Banner by a local California Highway Patrol Officer. 
     My goal for this race was a sub 46-minute race based on my training coming in and the fact that I'm still afraid to run too hard because of my plantar fasciitis issues. My goal early on was to try and hit 7 to 7:10 per mile pace and not push the hills too hard so I could stay consistent throughout the race. 

The start of the Bakersfield Fog Run 10k.

The course was well marked. 

     I soon settled into a nice rhythm as the course wandered along the outskirts of the Lake Ming campground towards Bakersfield CALM Zoo and the Kern County Soccer Park. I hit the first mile in 7:06, mile two in 7:07, and mile three in 7:27. Mile three had the biggest hill, and soon after that, we got to run on some dirt and soft stuff for a while.

The 10k course took us through the Lake Ming Campground.

The paved part of the course heading towards the Kern County Soccer Park.

     Shortly after hitting the third mile we were back at the 5 and 10k split close to the start. Where the 5k runners went on a paved bike path going out and around the lake we were sent on a dirt path that paralleled the paved path before joining the 5k course and looping back around to the finish.

Running along the dirt path you can see the 5k runners heading back up on the paved portion of the course.

     My mile four split was 7:22, then I got back into rhythm for miles five and six running 7:08 and 7:06 respectively. The finish was a slight downhill and I got there in a time of 44:32. I was pleased with my time. I grabbed a bottle of water, reset my watch and headed out to cheer my wife and friends to the finish. I didn't go far before I found Trevor, then Andrea and Robin heading towards the finish. The three of them did a great job getting to the line so we could wait out the raffle drawing then head for lunch. The race did provide sandwiches, chips, bananas, and other goodies for the participants. The race was only 25.00 to pre-enter. 
     The 5k awards were first, so we all headed back to the parking lot to change and have some more post-race nourishment. My name was called for second in my age group but all of us struck out on the raffle so we headed to Pyrenees Basque Restaurant in downtown Bakersfield for some more food. 

My Chili Verde burrito and hash browns from Pyrenees Cafe in downtown Bakersfield.

     It's time to rate the race. The course wasn't very tough so this race will be rated in lager beers. I think the price, organization, timing, and porta potty availability(important for runners) were all top notch. The volunteers were very courteous and the music was decent for the most part. Did I mention the race was only 25.00 to pre-enter? The race was lacking a beer sponsor so there weren't any free adult beverages after the race. For this reason, I am knocking one beer out of the six pack and rating the race a 5 lager race. Happy running in 2018 everybody.

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Mr. Toads Wild Run 20k Trail Race 2017; Race Report #22

     Every year on the first Saturday of December the Bakersfield Track Club hosts a trail race known as Mr. Toads Wild Run. The reason for the name is the last 3/4 mile is downhill in a curvy high banked turn trail known as Toads Gulley. This year the race start was much warmer than usual so we were all in shorts for the race.
     Robin, Andrea, Aden, David, and myself along with many other friends were entered in the 20k, while Trevor was attempting the 5k. At the last minute, Trevor opted to forego the race and drive to Clovis to help with some family yard work which left just us 20k participants.

Andrea, Robin and myself prior to the 20k start.

     I did my usual warm-up, but not too much as this would be a long race for me based on my current training situation. My longest recent run had only been 10 miles to date. The 5 and 20k started together, and I took off slowly, determined to not burn myself out in the first few hills. I also opted to carry Tailwind as my drink for the first time in a race. It wasn't long before the races split and I found myself out by myself for what seemed like miles. I was careful to make sure I didn't try to run up the big hills this time. I had made that mistake in previous years. I talked to runners that I passed as I cruised along the course. I felt better as the race progressed. Soon enough I came upon the infamous "bastard hill./" It was at this point I saw Aden who had already run the hill and was heading back looking good firmly in a top 3 overall position. I power walked up the hill, then ran the rest of the race. I think I even did negative splits since I walked the hills at the beginning. I ended up finishing 16th overall, third in my age group. Aden finished second overall and first in his age group. With some consistent training, he has loads of potential.
     Meanwhile, Robin and Andrea were busy having fun hiking the uphills and running the downhills. They amused themselves taking selfies, then adding special effects during the race.

Robin and Andrea playing around during the race. 

     I grabbed a quick snack after finishing and set out running the course backward to finish with Robin and Andrea. This meant I had to go uphill in Mr. Toads gulley. I mostly hiked as I encouraged runners finishing the race as I went. I found them about 1 1/2 miles before the finish laughing and having a good time. I ran and walked downhill to the finish with them.They both finished in a time of 3:22:57.  I checked the results and got my age group award which was a cool beer glass. We had a brief rest and snacks before heading to Pyrenees Basque restaurant for some post-race nourishment. 

We had lunch in the bar at Pyrenees Basque Restaraunt. 

     According to my new rating system, I give this race a 4 IPA rating.The course is tough enough to be an IPA course. I had to knock it down a beer because they held the raffle for prizes while runners were still on the course, and I knocked it down another beer for not having a free beer after the race for the adult participants. The race is fun and close, so I look forward to doing it again in 2018.


Saturday, December 30, 2017

Silver Falls Trail Races 2017, Silver Falls, Oregon; Race Report #21

     Planes, Trains, and Automobiles may have been a hit movie, but it's also how we got to the Silver Falls Trail Races in Oregon. We drove down to Burbank Airport on the Friday morning before the race for our nonstop flight to Portland. After we got through the TSA lines we ran into fellow Santa Clarita Runner Carl Stromberg and his wife who were also heading to Portland, but on an earlier flight. It turns out they were going up to watch their son Grant compete in the NCAA Cross Country Regional race. Our flight was uneventful and we landed in Portland a little early. The Portland airport was beautiful and clean as always. We grabbed our checked bag and headed to the Tri-Met station for the train ride to Beaverton way our son Kris would pick us up and take us to our hotel.
     Portland has one of the best ways to get into and out of an airport. No need for a vehicle at the airport, just buy a Tri-Met pass, hop on the train, and head close to your destination. The trip to Beaverton was about an hour and stress-free. We disembarked the train at the Beaverton Creek Station, the closest one to the Nike campus where our son was working.

The sign in the Nike woods next to the Tri-Met tracks

     Kris found us even though I was busy exploring the Nike running trails next to the tracks. We headed to lunch before checking into our room at the Marriott. One of the great things about the Portland area is there is no shortage of good brewpubs or restaurants. We stopped off at the Fireside Grill. The food was fantastic. I had my first burger of the weekend.

My burger and homemade chips at the Fireside Grill in Beaverton, Oregon

     After our great lunch, we checked in to the Beaverton Marriott then headed to the Value Village thrift store a few miles away for a couple of hours of bargain hunting before dinner. I did find vintage copies of Alfred Lord Tennyson, Robert Browning, and Lord Byron's work published between 1895 and 1905. I got all three for under 10.00. 
     The closest place we could find that served decent food that wasn't packed on a rainy Friday night was McMenamins. Pizza and beer the night before a race has always worked for me, and this night would be no different. We ate heartily preparing for tomorrows adventure and Kris dropped us off at the hotel for a good night's sleep. 

Barbeque Chicken Pizza at McMenamins

     Kris picked us up in the dark on Saturday morning and off we went South towards Salem, then East into the mountains to Silver Falls State Park. We arrived shortly before 8:00  A.M. The first race of the day, the 50k had already started. The marathon was scheduled to start at 8, and our race, the 7 miler was scheduled to start at 9:00 A.M. We headed to the check-in tent, and picked up our bib numbers and swag. One of the many things I liked about this race was the t-shirt purchase was a 10.00 option. The race directors didn't force us into buying the shirts. After we checked in, we wandered around the check-in tent and there was a portable bar set up serving free shots of Fireball whiskey. Not the type of people to disappoint, we did partake in small shots of Fireball to warm us up on a cold morning. 

The check-in area prior to the start of the Silver Falls Trail Races

Course Map of the 7-mile race at Silver Falls State Park.

Doing our Fireball shots prior to the start of the Silver Falls Trail Race.

     It was nice seeing the marathon start promptly on time at 8:00 A.M. This meant everything else would probably be on time, and it was. I did my warm-up, hit the porta potties a couple of times, and was soon ready for the start. I told Kris and Robin I would see them at the finish and lined up towards the front. I wasn't sure how long it would be before we hit single track trails and I didn't want to get stuck in the pack. I wasn't in great shape since I haven't trained too much due to plantar fasciitis issues so I didn't push myself too much on the initial hills. Soon the course went downhill towards the water which meant we had to come back up to finish. The weather was about 40 degrees, overcast, but no wind. Perfect for running. There was a chance of rain in the forecast, but it held off for the race.
     The race description told of beautiful waterfalls along the course, and we weren't disappointed. The first couple wasn't much to see, but before long we were running along and under some of the most fantastic scenery I have ever seen. We actually ran under the waterfalls. In one of them I had to duck my head as I ran, and in another, it was so dark I couldn't see the ground, but I could feel the moisture through my Nike Terra Kiger shoes.

 Waterfalls like this were everywhere along the course.

We ran under the waterfalls

At some point in the race, Robin caught up with Kris who was busy stopping to take pictures.
Note the cool waterfall in the background.

     I checked my watch and we were nearing mile five, and still running along the river. The stairs and switchbacks out of the canyon would be upon me soon enough, so I slowed down a little hoping to make the best of what was to come. What came was I the fact I wasn't in good enough shape to run up the stairs and switchbacks. I did my best power walking up the stairs, using the banister to help propel me up. When we got brief downhill or flat sections I ran at a reduced pace, fearful of the infamous "nutbuster" hill I had heard about that was close to the finish. I was soon out of the canyon and running towards the finish area. I had survived the switchbacks by walking with purpose. My mistake was, I thought the switchbacks was the "nutbuster" hill, but I was mistaken. I could see the big white tent and hear the announcer, but the course took me suddenly to the right and straight up. This was the hill, and I was relegated to walking with purpose again. I got passed by a masochist who tried running up the hill, and I got passed again on the downhill which was wet and grassy. I survived the descent with the rubber side down and proceeded to pass back everyone that had gotten by me in the short but steep up and downhill section right before the finish. I finished 69th overall, third in my age group in a time of 1:12:27. I took my finishers medal and headed to the beer truck for my first post-race IPA. The beer was supplied by Seven Brides Brewing and was fantastic. One of the great things about this race was there was no limit on how many beers one could drink after the race. Since my son was driving I decided I would enjoy a few of the tasty IPA's, and I'm not known for liking that type of beer, but on this morning they were great.

Seven Brides Brewing provided the post-race refreshments.

I got third in my age group, the guys that beat me must have been in the beer or porta potty line.

     My beer cup was empty when my son Kris finished, but that was easily remedied. Not too long after he finished Robin came in. It was at this time that I learned that a runner had had a medical issue out on the course. For the second time this year, Robin came upon people performing CPR on a runner during a race. We later learned the runner passed away from an apparent heart attack. our condolences go out to his family. 
     Not only did the race have great beer, but they also had all of the homemade chili we could eat. We had chili and beer, waited around for the awards, and picked up our race receipts. I'm not sure what else to call them, but when I went to look at the results posted on the wall a guy with a laptop and printer called out my name and handed me a slip of paper with all of my race statistics on it. This was another cool feature of this race. It was time to head back to Beaverton.
     The race may have been over but the weekend wasn't. Kris dropped us off at the hotel. We hit the indoor pool for some cool down exercises in the water, showered, and Kris picked us up so we could hit the town. Our first stop was the Thirsty Lion. We all had a beer and split some appetizers. From there we went to Orenco to hang out at the Pizza Schmizza to watch the Ducks game. The game wasn't great for Oregon fans so we headed back towards the hotel, stopping at Room 122, a taphouse, for a nightcap. 

Appetizers and beers at the Thirsty Lion

     Sunday morning found us heading to the Tri-Met station for a quick run into downtown Portland where we would spend the day. Our first stop was at Jakes Grill for brunch where we would be meeting some friends of mine from high school 40 years ago. The food and drinks were great, but the laughter and memories were better. The meal ended way too soon and I can't wait to sit down and catch up some more with those two. 
I met up with Judy and Scott from high school at Jake's Grill in Portland

     Robin had one more spot she wanted to hit, and it was a bucket list place for her. Hanna Andersen is one of her favorite clothing lines and there was a store within walking distance. Off we went, it was only a few blocks. Fortunately for Kris and I, there was a fine looking pub called Life of Riley across the street for us to kill time in. Robin went one way, and we headed into the Life of Riley for a pint and appetizers. 

Beers and appetizers at Life of Riley. Note the Hanna Andersen bag, Robin was successful.

     From Life of Riley, we headed to Tilts for some more burgers and beers. It was a three block walk. Downtown Portland is full of fun places to eat and drink, and we were trying to hit as many as we could. The cool thing about Tilts is the decor is old school machine shop. I went with the jalapeno burger and a beer and it was very tasty. There were no paper napkins, just orange shop towels. I checked mine for metal chips before wiping my face. Old habits die hard.
My jalapeno burger at Tilts Portland

Tilts didn't have just burgers and beers. Check out the pie selection.

     The final stop of the night would be near the Portland Timbers stadium to watch the Timbers playoff game in a bar. If you've never been to Portland during a Timbers game you don't know what you are missing. Everyone is dressed in the team colors, and all the screens in bars are tuned to the game. NFL takes a back seat during Timbers games. We ate at Henry's Tavern, and the food was again delicious. Soon enough the game was over and we all headed to the nearest Tri-Met Stop for the ride back to Beaverton. Kris took us back to the Marriott where we said our goodbyes until Christmas. 
     Monday morning I did an easy run, then we hit Einstein Bros. Bagels next to the hotel for breakfast. The food was good, and they had the largest selection of cream cheeses I've ever seen.

My bagel sandwich at Einstein Bros. Bagels

     After breakfast, we packed our bags and checked out. Since Kris was working we used the bus to get us to the Tri-Met station for the ride to the airport. We didn't have to wait too long for the bus, and luckily it wasn't raining. We got to the airport, checked our bags, and settled down for some lunch at Henry's PDX.

The beers at Henry's PDX were about the same price as Henry's in downtown Portland,

     Our flight boarded on time, and if any passengers were wearing Portland Timbers shirts they got to board with the first class passengers. Unfortunately, I had a passenger sitting next to me that wasn't a runner, and he took up his seat and overflowed into mine a bit. I'm just glad the flight to Burbank was a short one. When we landed we got on the wrong shuttle, so that was exciting. Twenty minutes later we were on the proper shuttle headed to our car. You got to love small airports. By now we were hungry again so we decided to stop at Hoke Poke in Santa Clarita on our way home. Thank you, Bobby, for starting this place. It was nice to finish our weekend off with some healthy food.

 My spicy tuna poke bowl from Hoke Poke in Santa Clarita, CA

     Starting next year I have decided to give the races I do a rating. I'm going to rate them on all aspects of the race from the ease of check-in to course difficulty. Flat courses will be lagers, and trail runs will be IPA's. The rating will consist of one to six beers, with six being the best. If I were to rate the Silver Falls Trail races it would easily be six IPA beers. Stay tuned in 2018 as I work out the kinks in my rating system and travel around to various races.

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Prostate Cancer Surgery One Year Removed

     Today is the one year anniversary of my prostate cancer surgery. It has been a rather eventful year. I had to potty train myself and learn to run again. I can kegel as good as anybody, but it was a fun few months learning how to do things I used to take for granted.
     Before I get into the highlights of the past year, I need to thank my wife Robin for everything she does for me. She was a big help keeping me positive when things were a little rough. I need to also thank some wonderful friends that went with me to various running races as I attempted to get back to my normal self. Okay, those of you that know me can stop laughing about the "normal" part. We all got matching shirts and went to various races around California, Nevada, and Oregon. We trained hard, raced hard, and celebrated finishing those races by partying hard. Okay, not like the 80's, but we all had a good time.No matter how the race went we made sure we had fun before and afterward, sometimes even during the race. Some of my friends would make me laugh so hard I peed myself, but I wouldn't trade those moments for anything.

Sporting our matching Running with Prostate Cancer shirts at the Wild Wild West Marathon

     Besides all of the running I did this year, I was also the Grand Marshall at our local Relay for Life. It was different being the person that stood up there talking about my experiences battling cancer. The event was cut short by a violent microburst, but we all made it back for the luminaria.
     I also became a grandpa for the first time when Brandon and Torri gave us Henry. I can't wait to teach him about the finer things in life from my perspective as he grows older. We flew back to South Carolina to visit. I ate at a Waffle House for the first time. Life was good that weekend. 
     Robin and I got up to Oregon again to visit Kris. We all had a blast and did a fantastic trail race up there. We sampled as many of the local dining establishments as possible.
     Through all of this, I have learned about how my body has changed because of the surgery. I don't pass up rest stops when traveling anymore. I'm able to consume drinks with caffeine again, but that has only happened recently. I can do anything without needing a diaper or pad except run hard. Running easy seems to no longer be an issue. 
     The best news of all regarding my cancer is it's still undetectable. I've had three PSA tests since my surgery and all of them have come back as undetectable. I still get nervous during the time between the test and the appointment to get the test results, but this is normal, and I will be nervous next June when I get tested again. Until then I plan to keep running, help Robin train for her first trail marathon, meet up with friends to practice, race, and consume post run nourishment, which is a good enough excuse to want to keep cancer at bay for the rest of my life.