Bunchgrasser’s World

My unique filter on life

Posts Tagged ‘helvetia half marathon’

8 miler on Sunday

Posted by bunchgrasser on May 18, 2009

Wow, what amazing weather this weekend. I ran 8 miles on sunday and it felt like the middle of summer. It was already in the 70’s during my morning run, and the temp made it well into the 80’s by afternoon. I actually had to use sunscreen.

The run felt pretty good, but I’m still having trouble with my right leg. A sore knee and sore shin have kept me off my normal training schedule. Easing back on my mileage so far hasn’t helped much. I’m afraid my next option is to stop running altogether for a week or two (ugh).

I’m planning to run the Helvetia Half Marathon in June. Hopefully all will be resolved before then.


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My Helvetia Half Marathon personal results

Posted by bunchgrasser on June 25, 2008

First, let me just say a big thank you to the event sponsors and the folks at Run With Paula for putting on a great race! This was my second half marathon, but first time running the Helvetia Half and I thought everyone did a great job. The weather was perfect, the event seemed well organized and it almost made destroying my legs for 13.1 miles fun.

How did I do, you ask? Well, I’m pleased to say that I ran it in 1:56:54, which means I averaged an 8:55/mile pace. I placed 75th out of 145 for my age group (40-44). Now that may not seem too impressive to many runners out there, but I did establish a new PR and I beat my last half marathon time by several minutes. I do like the trend here…

Some observations about the race…

First, I really enjoyed running through the rural setting. Most all of my running (training and races) occurs in an urban setting, so cruising down the 2 lane roads past hay fields, trees & farmers was a refreshing change and I’m already looking forward to running Helvetia next year.

Second, the Jamba Juice smoothies placed into my hands the moment I crossed the finish line were a life saver. Although I wouldn’t recommend sucking down two of them quickly right after running 13 miles (as I did). The cold headache was almost enough to make me pass out.

Third, the water stations and portable toilets were distributed well across the entire course. I did make one pit stop, but I waited until I came to an unoccupied unit so that I could dart in/out quickly. I think I may have set a new speed record – can someone verify that for me?

Finally, I have some constructive suggestions for the organizers for next year. These are not, I repeat, these are not complaints – but merely my opinions on how to improve an already fantastic race.

 First, please consider replacing the cotton t-shirt with a technical shirt of some kind. The rest of the athletic world has moved away from cotton, so I’m amazed that race organizers still give them out. If cost is the issue then please at least offer both choices to participants. It would be nice to actually use race t-shirts for running rather than stuffing them in a box or sending them to Goodwill.

Second, please reconsider serving tepid hamburgers to race participants that just ran 13 hard miles. Maybe I’m in the minority here, but my system just can’t handle that kind of gut bomb after a long run. Perhaps some kind of pasta and/or vegetable dish would be more universally appealing.

Finally, Ugh – the parking issue after the race. The last thing people will remember about this race is sitting in their hot car for an hour trying to get out of the parking lot. I can assure you that I will find an alternative parking option next year. But I’m guessing some may avoid this race next year because of this reason.

I’d also like to thank the folks at Portland Fit for running a great training program. Although registration is closed for this marathon season, I would highly encourage anyone looking to run a marathon, half marathon, or simply improve their running to sign up for this next season. I’ve really enjoyed the group runs on Saturday mornings and the accountability has truly helped me ratchet up to double digit mile runs and beyond.

What’s next for me? Well – I just registered for the Pacific Crest Half Marathon to be held June 28th in Sunriver, Oregon. I’m looking forward to the flat course, but Sunriver’s higher elevation may have a noticable effect on breathing. Stay tuned for the post race report.



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Running the Helvetia Half Marathon tomorrow…

Posted by bunchgrasser on June 13, 2008

Well, tomorrow is the big day. I’m willingly going to subject my body to 13.1 miles of pavement pounding abuse by running the Helvetia Half. I had been logging plenty of miles up until June 2nd (both on my own and with my Portland Fit group), when I spent a week in Orlando for work. I planned to run during that week, but the soaring heat (mid 90’s) and my work scheduled ruined that plan.

So, I missed an entire week of running and (unsuccessfully) attempted to catch up this week here at home. Normally tapering is a good thing, but when you do it a week too early – it can be a major problem. I’m always amazed at how quickly your body loses its edge when you back off the miles.

I also took the opportunity to drive the course yesterday. You know, the rolling hills always look so small when your in a car. I suspect those hills between miles 4-7 will feel much larger tomorrow. Well, wish me luck and I’ll post my results soon.



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One mile closer to the Portland Marathon

Posted by bunchgrasser on April 21, 2008


As I mentioned in my bio, I’m training to run the Portland Marathon this October. You should know that I didn’t just wake up one day and decide to run a marathon. For anyone that is interested, I’ve shortened my story that began several years ago to a (mercifully) brief summary below. 

I, not unlike others before me, woke up one day and realized that calories had overtaken my metabolism in the daily struggle for supremacy in my body. I wasn’t really overweight – but I was very out of shape. Sitting at a desk daily for almost two decades didn’t exactly help as it turns out. And, in retrospect, working for a very, very large software company located in the state of Washington for almost 6 years wasn’t a great fitness move for me personally either. In all fairness, some of my peers stayed active and fit. Me, I gleefully lapped up all of the company sponsored team lunches, customer lunches, partner buffets & trade show spreads that I could. And there were many, many I tell you – but I digress.

So, back to my story. I did what most all inexperienced runners do – I bought a cheap pair of (Saucony) running shoes and hit the pavement. In the short span of a couple of weeks I had broken just about every rule pertaining to running (and ramping up in moderation). Needless to say, I endured some pain in a few places. Well, actually a lot of pain in a lot of places as I recall. Anyhoo – fast forward a few years, and I’ve managed to educate myself on the finer points of running (building a base, limiting mileage increases, stretching, crosstraining, listening to your body, etc).

To date, I’ve enjoyed running a couple of 5k’s, an 8k, a sprint triathlon and a half marathon. I’m planning to run the Helvetia Half Marathon this June, and then the Portland Marathon in October. Assuming I remain injury-free, the half marathon should be a breeze. However, I’m not so confident about the full marathon. I’ve joined Portland Fit, which is a 27 week training program for the Portland marathon. We are in week 4 and it has been a great experience so far. We have an information seminar and then do a training run every Saturday morning. They also provide a free 5 minute massage after the run also.

I’m currently logging around 12-15 miles mid-week and a 6-7 miler on the weekend. I’ll continue to post updates on this blog periodically as well.



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