Thursday, December 1, 2011

It's been a while...

but I have been running.  I missed the Santa Clarita Marathon last month and was kind of bummed out as a result.  I had been looking forward to running the fist full marathon on my home course; I'd run the half marathon six times before.  I've been running consistently though and well, but the LA marathon was the next race on the horizon and seems too far off.  I decided that i needed some races in between now and then to have some goals to shoot for.  There are a slew of half marathons in my area coming up in the next few months.  Slew? Hmm,  I don't think I've used that before.  At least not in writing. 
Any way,  I just signed up for the Rose Bowl Half on January 22, 2012.  I ran this race last year five weeks after breaking a rib.  I felt horrible, and ran a minute a mile slower than I had run the Santa Clarita half a few months earlier but some how managed to win the master Clydesdale class.  I wasn't able to stay around long enough to receive my medal though and was surprised to find that i was a bit bummed.  I'd never actually placed first in a running event before, even if it was the fat old guy division!  Anyway, I'm hoping to significantly improve on my time from last year.

Some of the other races I'm considering:

Santa to the Sea.... December 11, 2011. Wow! What a web site, love the Christmas music 8-) The finishers medal is so ugly that I need to have it!  Honestly though, well I'm being honest about the site and the medal, but every time a run a race in Ventura it has a cool vibe to it, they do a good race there.

Los Angeles 13.1...  January 15th, 2012.  I ran this a few years back, nice flat, fast course.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Monday, November 7, 2011

Santa Clarita: Part Victory, Part Failure

I made it through my first marathon. Victory. My time however was 50 minutes longer than my 5 hour worst case scenario. And I had dreams of 4:30-4:45. I was going strong until mile 16. My feet were hurting badly and I had some IT Band pain. But fitness-wise I felt like I was there. My engine was running great but my suspension had some worn out parts.

It would have been a perfect day to set a new PR for a Half-Marathon. I should run even slower for the first half.

Around mile 17 wile running though some neighborhood I saw a pull up bar so I stopped and did 5.

The course overall was pretty good. Compared to my 2 half marathons it was pretty flight. My only complaint was with some of the real narrow tight turns. Some of the early ones people bunched up and were forced to walk. Also some of the paths through the residential neighborhoods were not that clearly marked. I was alone on them a couple of times and wasn't sure I was going the right way.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Santa Clarita Marathon

It looks like I may not be able to run the Santa Clarita Marathon next month.  I was looking forward to it since I consider this marathon to be my home course.  I've run the half marathon 6 times in the past and this would have been my first time running the full marathon on this course.  I won't be able to run it since it looks like I'll likely be in New Zealand that weekend. I've never been there but for as small a place as it is New Zealand has a strong running tradition. I remember seeing New Zealand born Rod Dixon win the NY city marathon in 1983 on TV.  He's probably the reason that I wear Saucony running shoes. If I remember correctly, Saucony used the image of him just after he crossed the finish line, on his knees, arms outstretched, just a few seconds ahead of the number two runner.  At 6' 1" tall,  Rod didn't look like the typical marathoner.
After a little looking around, I came across this video from a couple of years ago.  Rod talks about his winning run at NY back in 1983.  It's a pretty interesting account, especially his strategy to pass the leader, around mile 26, just 2/10ths of a mile from the finish!  He looks as surprised as anyone the he did it!  He attributes being able to pass the runner in front of him to the fact that he was able to run a shorter distance to the finish line by running the corners.   Running the tangents is worth thinking about especially if you're running a course that has a lot of turns in it like the Santa Clarita course does. 

Any way, if I can't run the Marathon, I look forward to getting in a nice run or two in New Zealand and I'll find another long race in December or January.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Are You More Powerful Than a Giant?

No. Probably not.

"What," you may ask, "if I'm Patrick Makau Musyoki, world record holder. My marathon time was 2:03:38 in Berlin"

Nope. Not even . . . OK. You have me there. I hope you enjoyed your German Engineered Electrolyte Replacement Drink at the end, Patrick.

Before you get too smug lets talk kilowatt hours and joules. You see, Patrick weighs a scant 123.2 pounds. I currently strain the scale at 225.7. I don't have a marathon time so I'll compare half times. My most recent half time was 2:25:58 at a weight of 235 (not counting my camel back). In total output measured in kilo joules that puts Patrick at 11,832.26 and me at 22,569.64.

So in total output we Giants smoke that punk!

That's not the full tale unfortunately. In Kilowatt Hours he runs 3.4 and me 2.6.

But let's compare mortals with mortals. A 150 runner doing 1:30 half marathon is doing slightly 2.6 kw/h. An hour faster for the same output.

So be a prideful Giant.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

3 Weeks Until My 1st Marathon

3 Weeks until Santa Clarita. Current tonnage: 228.

I am a proud Giant. Short of being lost in the desert for a few weeks I'll never lose my Giant status but I'm hoping to get to 220 for Santa Clarita. And down to 210 by Tough Mudder in late February. The challenge is to not shed muscle mass in the process. I have no interest in being a waif-like marathon runner. That is why I do so much strength training.

I've been eating something like the Paleo Diet but with a cheat day on Friday's. For these last 3 weeks I'm skipping the cheat days. Post Marathon is pizza time.

This picture is the last time I weighed 228. I could only do 20 push ups then. Now I can do a few more.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

13.1 Los Angeles

Registration price increase for this race  on October 23.   I'm not sure if I'm going to run it in 2012, but it's tempting.  I ran the first outing of this race a couple of years ago and was impressed.  Plenty of parking, fast course, well organized...everything you want in a race plus a nice shirt and cool finishers medal too.

Monday, October 10, 2011

City to the Sea

I ran the City to the Sea half marathon this past Sunday.  I was hoping to run a bit faster, but ultimately I am pretty happy with my time of 01:40:41. I'm not very sore and feel like I'm in a good place for the Santa Clarita Marathon on November 6th. The course was a fast, mostly downhill one with plenty of volunteers stocking the aid stations.  I typically start pretty slow.  Last year at the Santa Clarita half my first mile was around 9 minutes but my average pace ended up being 7:37.   I wanted to get out a bit faster for this race so  I didn't have as large deficit to over come later in the race.  I ran my first mile in 7:16 and eventually settled into a comfortable 7:30ish pace.  Between miles 5-9 the course got a little hilly, and I fell off the pace a bit.  Around mile ten, it flattened out again and my pace picked back up. I missed the 11 mile marker but my pace for the last 1.1 miles was back in the 7:30 range.  My overall pace ended up being 7:41.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Carb Loading

City to the Sea is two days away, but I figured a little carb loading today would be good so we headed over to Gordon Biersh for lunch. Given that it's October a little German Engineered Electrolyte Replacement Drink seemed appropriate.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Abebe Bikila

Even though he wan't a Giant Abebe Bikila has a pretty interesting story. Boston in 63 was the only Marathon he entered that he didn't win. And he's the namesake for the Vibrim Five Fingers Bikila. It's funny to name a shoe after guy who didn't wear shoes (mostly).


I've notice looking though pictures of me running that when I get tense it shows up in my hands, my thumbs actually.  When I get tense, I look like I'm give the thumbs up gesture...weird.  It's hard to run fast while tense, so I have to constantly monitor my thumbs and remind myself to relax.  How does your tension reveal itself while you run?

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Barefoot Style

Rainy Morning

This morning I woke up to a wet and windy day.  I thought, "I don't need to run, I'm pretty much set for this weekends race"  After a while on the couch I thought "maybe I'll run on the treadmill"  A little longer and I thought "what the hell am I thinking, it's only rain!  Then I imagined R. Lee Ermey in my face screaming "There's no such thing as bad weather, just soft people."  Why R. Lee Ermey?  Because I watched Prefontaine  a while back and he played the role of Bill Bowerman who the above quote is attributed to.
I got off my ass, threw on a sweatshirt ( yes a sweatshirt, made of cotton, not some high tech, space age polymer, moisture wicking, GPS enabled, precipitation shielding device...A SWEATSHIRT!) and headed out the door.  Once I got out there I remembered how much I enjoy running in the rain.  BTW, the sweatshirt was not needed, all that wattage that Chris was talking about is the same as heat and we giants generate a lot of it.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Giant Among Giants

The Giants are contemplating the Shadow of the Giants 50k Trail Run. For me it seems like insanity to plan my first Ultra-Marathon when I have yet to complete my first frumpy run-of-the-mill Marathon. Let's see what happens.

Monday, October 3, 2011

What's Your Wattage?

So, is a lumbering Giant performing as well as a spritely un-giant? Long a tool of cyclist, wattage is one way of measuring output. For cyclist they use special hubs that give them their wattage for a given effort. For a runner its not so easy. Enter the RAST test. For giants it gets interesting here.

If you are a 150 lb un-giant running 35 meters in 5 seconds you produce 668 watts. If you are solidly in the Giant category like me at 233 and do the same 35 meters in 5 seconds the wattage is 1033. To match the power output I'd have to run nearly a second slower.

We are currently working to develop a formula that will estimate power output for runs of any length. This may be in the form of a Pace Calculator iPhone App.

Hell Week: Conclusion

Saturday to Saturday - Running, Swimming and Workouts totaled 48 Miles, burned 10,154 Calories. I would have topped 50 miles but the effort started catching up to me. I got some IT Band pain for the first time since switching to Five Fingers. Fatigue started to hound me. My last exercise was a 10 mile run. Normally that

We'll see whether that effort benefits me.

From September 24, 2011

Friday, September 30, 2011

running releases more than just sweat

I like this ad.  Stress, regret, sadness literally falling away while you run. Turns out the model in this ad, Danielle Jayne, has been on the cover of Runners World a couple of times.   At 6'3" tall and 158lbs*  she qualifies as a giant runner.

*OK, I have no real idea how tall she is or how much she weights.  Fortunately the fact that running can make you feel better isn't size dependent.

Sock-A-Knee Wants Randy to Convert

A Call to Universities!

Study us!

While its fun relating our experiences running as Giants we want data to share with the rest of the community. There was a study from the 80's (mentioned in an earlier post) that said a 210 pound runner running an 8 minute pace is performing as well as a 150 lb runner doing a 6 minute mile. Well let's test it. What is it like for a 230 lb runner to do an 8 minute mile? (I can pull one or two off occasionally). Let's test the ground impact for both heel striking Giants and barefoot style runners like me. I like Hammer Nutrition's sports drinks but all their mixture info ends at 190 lbs.

Surely out there is a student or professor who would have interest in studying this. Maybe Hammer? Anybody?

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Hell Week: Thursday

All this strength training isn't exactly helping me get down to the lower edges of the Giant class by Santa Clarita. But my primary focus is still adventure races like Tough Mudder.

I found out that BUD/s Class 291 is in Hell Week right now. Of course what I'm doing is picking daisies compared to the real deal. But to honor them I used the 55 minute SEAL workout from YouTube. Enjoy the 70's stash.

I did a 1/3 Mile Run before and in between each group of the workout then 1 Mile to finish up.

Q & A with Haile Gebrselassie

Interesting Q&A with a seriously fast dude.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Hell Week: Wednesday

2 Mile Swim. After that I crashed. I could not stay awake. I had planned on running tonight but 2 German Style Recovery Drinks with dinner it didn't happen.

Over Engineered Foot Coffins

That's what the barefoot guys call modern running shoes. Every time I pick up my old Brooks Beasts I tend to agree. I will soon be posting a brief tale about my journey towards barefoot running. I say "towards" because I'm not a full barefoot guy. I don't want the bottoms of my feet to be filthy all the time.

iPods and Hemingway

It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.  ~Ernest Hemingway

I think that running with an ipod is similar in that it detracts from the experience.  I'm sure that is the very reason some runners prefer listening to music while they run.  But maybe to run at your best you need to be in tune with your running, breathing, aches and pains, terrain, etc., not be distracted from these things?

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Hell Week: Tuesday

Trying to run 20 Miles for the 1st time after yesterday's workouts (especially the 4.5 miles of near sprint intervals) was not a great idea. But it wouldn't be Hell Week if it didn't suck.

Taking inspiration from Randy I mapped out a 5 mile loop. I was already struggling by the end of the 2nd loop. I walked about 1/3 of loop three. I could only run a few hundred yards at a time here and there on the last loop. It was basically a disaster with an average pace of 14 minutes. Post run tonnage: 230 lbs

But it would be Hell Week if the suck stopped there. So after recouping for 6 hours I popped the three blisters in between my toes and did a 1/2 Murph. The Murph is a Crossfit exercise named after Lt. Michael Murphy who was killed in Afghanistan. It consists of 1 Mile Run, 100 Pull Ups, 200 Push Ups, 300 Squats, and another mile run. I did the miles on either side of half of the Pull Ups, Push Ups and Squats.

4000+ calories burned today.

Zen and How I Ditched the iPod

I used to love listening to my iPhone while running.'s Secret Agent, This American Life Episodes and when I needed a little push I'd listen to Military Cadences. Then came Heartbreak Ridge. Running deeper into the canyon I lost my cell service. Secret Agent was off. I didn't want to fiddle with my phone so I left it off.
There's a breathing exercise I like to do to relax. The basic idea is that you focus on your breathing. If your mind wanders you push it back to the breathing. With the music off I found myself listening to my breathing. I had this little patterns that would develop and evolve. Out Out Out-Innnnnn, Out Out Out, IN! Like that over and over. Sometimes the pattern would invert so the In would be the rhythmic part. The miles started to pass and as long as the pattern was there I was running a fairly consistent pace.
I walked the turn around. It gave me a chance to fire up the iPod. I started the military cadences. It was, after all, on a Marine Base (don't tell the Marines I was listening to a Navy Seal Cadence). But the iPod distracted me. I couldn't hear my breathing. The zen was lost.
I killed it. The headphones were stowed and I went back to my breathing exercise.

Now I leave the phone at home. An added bonus is that nobody call me during my run.

Hell Week: Monday

Maxed out on vacation hours means take a week off or stop accruing hours. So I decided to punish myself for a week. Its my own private Hell Week.

AM: 1 Miles Swim

Midday: Next was a little Crossfit inspired routine.
Warm Up
200 Meter Run
30 Jumping Jacks
30 Cherry Pickers
10 Windmills
10 1/2 Windmills
10 Trunk Side Stretches

Repeat 3 Times
100 Meter Run
10 Kettle Bell Thruster (30lb KB)
5 Clean and Jerk (50lb Sand Bag)
10 Kettle Bell Snatches (30lb KB)
20 Sumo Dead Lift (30lb KB)
50 Butterfly Sit-ups
50 Flutter Kicks

PM: Interval Run
4.5 Miles

Monday, September 26, 2011

German Engineered Electrolyte Replacement Drink

Apparently if you win the Berlin Marathon you get a GIANT beer...who knew.  Actually the alcohol free variety shown above is probably not too bad as a post run beverage.   Maybe Running Giants should go check that out next year, hopefully you don't need to win to get one.  Ich bevorzuge, dass mein Bier Alkohol haben, bitte.


I ran three loops yesterday for my long run,  a total of 15 miles.  I have a five mile loop that I like, so I pretty much always run in five mile increments.  That's right, I run the same five mile course with rare exception.  People wonder if I get bored running the same course everyday. The same course?  Hell it's never the same twice; different people, conditions, time of day, etc.  And if I run it in reverse, it's entirely different!  Sometimes I run intervals by alternating sprinting and jogging between landmarks, sometimes I set my sights on someone running ahead of me and try and chase them down.  Seriously I don't get bored, I've never run with head phones, or sought out the company of others while running...I don't get bored running.  I like to listen to my body and be in tune with my surroundings.  It's not that I don't like running new roads, I just prefer being able to get out and do it without trying to figure out where I'm going or how far I've gone.  Anyway, today's run was good, the first loop was exceptionally overcast and cool.  It was the first run this year that really felt like Fall.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Bootcamp Challenge

Time: 27 Minutes. Current Tonnage: 233 lbs.

Nothing like a giant doing an 8:29/mile pace and jumping over hay bails only to have a ripped dude in a Smokey the Bear hat yell at you, "This is a race! Maybe you should run. Move it!" A simple step up over a hay bail without breaking pace really tests your stamina. Then came the 2 and 3 bail stacks. And that was the first mile.

Mile 2 really chews you up. Unlike an event like Warrior Dash the Bootcamp Challenge has most of its obstacles in the 2nd mile. Run through water spray, jump over logs, go under logs, through tunnels, belly crawl in the sand, walls, more logs and more Drill Instructors (60 in all).

The last mile was more like the first.

I'm happy with my time. I would have been OK with that time for a regular old 5K a couple of months ago. But I think I could have better.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Spirit of the Marathon

Spirit of the Marathon is a film that chronicles the journey six marathon runners experience while training and competing in the 2005 Chicago Marathon.  It's been out for a while but I only recently watched it.  If you like running, it's worth watching.  It's available on Hulu.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

"Sock-A-Knee" continued

Saucony was acquired in the late 60's by Hyde Athletic Industries.  Hyde Athletic Industries, located near Boston and founded in 1898 is probably one of the oldest running shoe manufacturers around. You like the way I used probably? I assume it's use frees me from having to do too much actual research.  Anyway; In addition to various other sporting goods Hyde Athletic Industries manufactured Spot-Bilt shoes.  If you look at early pictures of the Boston marathon runners, it looks these are the shoes those guys are wearing. I aways thought they were running in dress shoes that they had stripped the heel off of.   What's also interesting is that if you think that the current trend of minimalist shoes is a new thing, look at this ad for Spot-Bilt shoes from the 50's.  "Super light, amazingly flexible, with straight foam rubber sole."

 I also found a pair of vintage Spot-Bilts on E-Bay.  They look cool!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011


Saucony running shoes. One of the oldest running shoe brands around and my choice for the past 20 years.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Running Giants, Clydesdales, and Weight

I think that there is a misconception that Clydesdale runners are overweight runners, but that is definitely not the case. There are certainly 150lb overweight runners out there, just as there are overweight Giants.
I started running around the age of 14 to lose weight. I lost weight quickly but that wasn't the reason that I kept running. I keep running because it just feels right. It makes me feel better in just about every way. If you're reading this I don't have to explain, you probably already get it. Here at Running Giants we strive to be fit and continuously improve. That's why I was so disappointed in my performance at my last race. It was tough. I was hoping to break 1:40 but felt sluggish and slow and ended up finishing around 1:45. It wasn't the time so much, it was that I just felt terrible while I was running. I was surprised when I got on the scales the following day and found out that I was 10-15 pounds heavier that I thought I was. It hadn't affected me during my training, I actually had some runs leading up to the race were I felt really good. The thing that killed me was that I had done something that I have despised. Let me explain. I knew this guy a while back that was a cyclist and he was always talking about buying this or that for his bike. The goal of these purchases was to reduce weight, in the form of ounces, from his bike. Never mind that he was 30-35 lbs overweight! I had done the same thing in that I was focused on a new pair of shoes, they were eight ounces lighter that my regular shoes. Great, I saved eight @#$%ing ounces on my shoes but was carrying an extra two hundred ounces of fat! Don't get me wrong, I loved the new shoes.

After the half marathon I felt pretty beat up so I took the following three days off. when I finally did run my calf hurt bad after a mile or so. I decided not to push it and walked home in shame. Another thing that I despise...walking. Weird, right? I don't mind walking to lunch or to get the mail but as a form of exercise it blows. Any way I knew that I needed to drop some weight and start taking it seriously again if I am going to have a chance at a good performance at my next race. I started watching my intake pretty much immediately after weighing myself and managed to lose 5 pounds in that first week without any real exercise. My goal is to get down to 210-215lbs for the San Luis Obispo Half, about were I was for the Santa Clarita half marathon last Fall were I ran one of my fastest halfs ever (1:39:50). I would then like to continue my weight loss to ultimately be around 195-200 lbs for Santa Clarita this Fall in an attempt to beat last years time and hopefully set a new PR.

Looking even further down the road I've decided that there is no reason that I shouldn't be at the weight that I was when I was nineteen, running my second marathon. That's me, number 706 weighing in around 190lbs, maybe less without so much hair. Overweight? Not even close but still definitely a Running Giant.


The best thing about running is that it doesn't require a lot of equipment. I love cycling but the prep work for just getting out the door is a pain. Getting flats is a pain. In running you just head out the door.

What you do need (most of the time) is shoes. I'm too much of a tender foot to go full barefoot but I am a minimalist runner. I use two different shoes styles most of the time. Vibrim Bikila LS and Merrell Trail Gloves. I prefer the FiveFingers but some long runs are tough in them. Plus one rock can ruin your day. Occasionally I use Nike Free when the balls of my feet are really sore.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Fighting Weight

Reading the article and related comments that Randy posted below I got the impression that people view the Clydesdale class as the fat people class rather than a class for Giants. Unless I get lost in the desert for a few weeks I will likely never be under 200 pounds. The lowest I've weighed as an adult was 208 pounds. To be that low I didn't have much muscle up top.

I currently strain the scale at 234 pounds. Since I do silly things like 200 push ups a day for 10 days, or swing a 50 lb sandbag or 30 lb kettle bell around for exercise my weight isn't dropping all that fast. My goal as to be an all around athlete rather than strictly a runner so the strength training is important to me.

My fighting weight for the Santa Clarita Marathon is 220. Not sure I'll make it down that far but what can you do.

Workout for today. (Based on's WOD: Case of the Mondays)
1 Mile Run (did an 8:12 Pace)
25 Pull Ups (huge struggle for this giant)
50 Push Ups
100 Squats
1 Mile Run (Pace dropped to 9:45)
25 Pull Ups (many barely counted)
50 Push Ups
100 Squats
1 Mile Run (10:20 Pace)

Then I chased that down with 10 box jumps and the run home.

Swimming 1.5 Miles in the morning. We'll see how tonight's jaunt effects that.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Clydesdale Running

I ran across this NY Times article about weight class running and it's orgins.

btw, the comments under the article are as interesting as the article...

Monday, September 12, 2011

Wanna Get Yelled At While Running 5K?

My next race is the MCRD Bootcamp Challenge on 9/24/11.

Marine Drill Instructors "motivate" you with yelling and making you do push-ups. I ran it a few years ago with no training. It took me 42-ish minutes. I should do a lot better this time.

Rose Bowl Half Marathon

I just got an email from this event offering a promo code to alumni runners and their friends. The promo code is RBHM11ALUMN and is good for 10 bucks off early registration, valid through 09/29/11. This is a cool race that starts and finishes at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena and runs through the JPL campus. They also have a Clydesdale/ Athena and master Clydesdale/Athena classes.

Heartbreak Ridge Half Marathon

I really like Heartbreak Ridge. It was challenging, not too crowded and is definitely on my list for next year. The Ridge in the middle of the out and back course was tough and steep on the way out, constant and gruesome on the way back. I had dreams of the pipe variety of running 10:00min miles that seemed to be working out until the turn around. The subtle downhill then turned into a "why the F do I feel so pokey?" I shamefully let myself walk a few times. Not so shamefully on the steepest part of the hill but still I wish I'd pushed harder. My 10:00 and under times dropped badly to 11:47-13:17 in miles 9 through 11. I was able to sprint the last 100 yards to the finish at a 4:44 pace. I only thought I was going to puke after that.

2:25:44 - Slower than I wanted to run but better than I expected. In May I ran Pasadena in 2:38:54 so it was a big improvement to run this with twice the climbing at almost a minute faster per mile. I'm happy with my results for my second half marathon but I have some intervals to run tonight so no dwelling. Also, I need to run more hills.

My weight before the race was 235.8. My CamelBak Mule was 10+ pounds.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Barefoot or Shoes?

There's a lot of talk about barefoot running these days. While I'm not about to start running without shoes I do like the less is more idea. The basic idea is that running shoes by virtue of the amount of cushioning, force you to land on your heel which actually reduces the foots natural ability to absorb shock. The foot is naturally designed to land on the ball of the foot and not the heel, so bare foot proponents suggest that running barefoot actually reduces stress on the body and reduces injury. I recently purchased pair of minimalist shoes which have a minimal drop from the heel to the ball of the foot. The idea is that it encourages you to land more on the ball or transition to the ball of your foot faster enabling your body to dissipate shock more efficiently. I've been running in Saucony's for a long time
so I picked their version of the minimalist shoe called the Kivara. I only had a chance to run ten miles in them before the heartbreak ridge half. I was concerned as I've been having some heel pain so running in a shoe with less cushioning in the heel seemed pretty counter intuitive, but they felt good so I used them for the race. I didn't have any issues during the race. I did have some calf soreness but my heels felt none the worse for wear. The following day most of the calf sorness was gone. I'm pretty happy with the shoe, but it'll be interesting to see how well they hold up.

Heartbreak Ridge Half Marathon

Chris and I ran the Heartbreak Ridge half marathon at Camp Pendelton. We both competed in the clydesdale class for runners over 200lbs. Based on the last couple of years results I felt that I had a pretty good shot at placing in the top three, but it wasn't to be. I placed fourth with a chip time of 01:45:28. Not bad but I was hoping to go under 01:40:00. The winning clydesdale won in a very respectable 01:35:14. Second place was right behind in 01:35:49 and third place finished with a gun time of 01:41:09 and a chip time of 01:46:06. It's unusual to see a gun time faster then a chip time, actually I'm not sure how that would happen. The course was tough but it wasn't the the races namesake hill that got me. Being an out and back course so we went over the "big" hill twice but the thing that got me was that the turn around point was the low point of the course so we were pretty much climbing from 6.5 miles back to the the "big" hill at around mile 10.5. Over all I thought the race was well organized and I liked the course, it's also the only race that I've run with the sound of machine gun fire in the background. I'd definitely like to give it a shot again next year.

For now I'm looking forward to the City to the Sea half marathon next month. It's a notoriously fast course and I'm hoping to get well below 01:40:00.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

City to the Sea

I just signed up for the City to the Sea half marathon in San Luis Obispo. It looks like a really fast course and works into my schedule leading up to the Santa Clarita marathon in November nicely.

I was looking through last years photos on the site and came across this guy. Runner number 400, clearly a running giant and a pretty good one at that. The results page shows that this 54 year old finished the course in 01:41:52 finishing in the top 21% overall.


Wednesday, September 7, 2011

At 6'2" tall and 215 pounds, I'm the second half of Running Giants. We're not only hoping to gather information about giant runners but hopefully share some of what we find out works for us and what doesn't. We're also hoping to hear from other giants. Chris has said that I'm old school. I think it's because I told him that everything you will ever need to know about running can be found in Jim Fixx's book The Complete Book of Running, written in 1977, not his follow up book written a few years can you write a follow up to a book you titled The COMPLETE Book of Running. Maybe it's my sports drink of choice. Two parts Pepsi, one part water, try it some time. Any way, we'll cover all that in the months or years ahead.
My events of choice are the road races, half marathons and marathons, but I also enjoy the obstacle events.


What's a Running Giant?

Welcome to Running Giants. What's the hell is a Running Giant? At 6'3" 236 Pounds; me. We are called Clydesdales at some running/cycling/triathlon events. The Clydesdale class is for dudes over 200 pounds (there's also the Athena class for dames over 160 pounds). Some events have different weights for these classes. But most events with these classes that I've seen you the 200/160 numbers.

The goal of this blog is to chronicle the training of two Running Giants: Randy Dormans and me, Chris Neuhahn. We also hope to gather information related to being a giant who runs.

My events of choice are obstacle courses like Tough Mudder and Warrior Dash. I'm branching out however with my first 1/2 marathon (Pasadena) in May, second 1/2 this Saturday (Heartbreak Ridge) and my first full marathon (Santa Clarita) in November.