Running with Rage

Eric Rutin discusses running, life and other semi-important things

Archive for the tag “5K”

Eric Rutin has New Year’s Resolutions?

January 3, 2014

Eric Rutin LOVES Calvin and HobbesWow, it is actually 2014.  I know most talented bloggers probably already shared their resolutions by now, but I wanted to wait to make sure mine were right.  I created a long list of personal, professional and running goals versus resolutions for 2014.  I think by having clearly defined goal provides a more realistic path for success than the typical resolution that is typically forgotten by Groundhog Day.

In the past I have made a variety of resolutions, most which I think I forgot within a fortnight.  Only three have lasted.  I gave up red meat in 1992.  In 2006 I resolved to eat read meat.  However this is only if I am served it at someone’s house to be a gracious guest.  I was tired of being asked at every BBQ by the host if they really needed to buy one special chicken breast just for me when everyone else was having filet mignon. (That being said, I would appreciate that chicken breast still) I vowed to drink more red wine sometime in the mid-2000″2 as well, which I was technically able to achieve by drinking one glass since I previously never drank any.  I usually down around three glasses of the red stuff each year.  I never said I set the bar very high.   I never actual wrote my resolutions down and certainly never developed an actual plan for success.  Rather I would white knuckle it until I could forget what I was trying to do.  Like I said, typically a less than a fortnight effort.  This year is different.  They are written down and I am working on a formal plan for each.

I am not going to share the personal and professional goals, but I do have a few running goals that I am allowing everyone to hold me accountable to accomplish.

1. Run every day in 2014.  I considered running 2,014 miles but realized I was nowhere near in shape enough to average the 38.73 miles per week needed to achieve this milestone.  So my slothful 2013 attitude has me committed to running 364 days this year despite rain and snow and even sleet.  Of course since I live in Arizona the 110 degree summer is probably the more likely troublesome weather.  So even if it is unbearably hot or the day after a marathon or I am incredibly busy or even if I fear traveling more than 15 feet from the bathroom, I am still going to run – every day.  2013 was not kind to my running with injuries, apathy and the impact of the Boston Marathon Bombings taking a toll on my consistency.  But it is 2014 and that is all in the rear view mirror.Eric Rutin runs the Reykjavik Marathon

2. Run a marathon. Yea I have run nine already but I haven’t run one since PF Changs two years ago.  It is time.  Right now I am thinking the Reykjavik Marathon in Iceland.  This is in late August so that means I will be knocking out 20 milers in the heat of the summer.  Joy, joy, joy.

3. Break 23 minutes in a 5K.  It isn’t close to my PR, but a hell of a lot faster than I have been running them.

4. Run my age in a 10K.  I will be using old Boston timing guidelines for this so I get the full 59 seconds on the 46 or 47 minutes.  47:08 is my PR, so this is going to be a tough goal to accomplish.  But that is why I am doing goals and not resolutions.

5. Volunteer at 5 events.  I called out splits at the Phoenix 10K and  handed out the race t-shirts at the Desert Classic last month.  It was fun sharing with the runners’ excitement.  It is also a way of giving back to this sport that has given me so much.  Plus I get $5 in Arizona Road Runner bucks each time I volunteer.

Eric Rutin old Supernova Classics6. Find a shoe I like.  I have been searching and searching since adidas stopped making Supernova Classics in 2011. I have found shoes that sucked and shoes that I didn’t mind, but I haven’t found a shoe I love and committed to. (I just got a pair of Mizuno Wave Inspires today – fingers crossed)  I ran in Supernova classics for 9 years as my primary shoe.  LOVED them.  Miss them.  But is there really only one true love for each of us?

7. Blog at least once a week.  I am not sure if this is welcome news for everyone or not, but it is on my list so I have to attempt it.

That is it.  I think some are tall orders, but good goals regardless to keep me motivated and focused.  I am glad that 2013 is over, there was just too many negative events that I personally experienced or affected people I knew.  Some pesky and some downright tragic.

I know I said I wasn’t going to, but I am going to share one of my personal goals anyhow.  I am going to teach my incredibly neurotic dog, Molly, how to catch a Frisbee.  She is an Australian Shepherd mix and is supposed to be innately predisposed to catch them, but instead just the sight of a Frisbee sends her hiding.

There you have it.  Lets check back in 362 days and see how I did.

Eric Rutin will toss the frisbee


Eric Rutin reflects on his Turkey Trot

November 13, 2013

First let me say, I have never been a gazelle but also I wouldn’t say I was a sloth either.  When I was in good shape I would say I was akin to a Australian shepherd, not going to win any speed records, but capable of a decent energetic pace.  Lately as I am working myself back into  shape I would say if you looked up Eric Rutin in the dictionary you would most likely see a picture of a basset hound.  More specifically probably a 14 year old basset hound.

running-Santa-cartoonIt was with this acceptance of my new canine classification that I lined up yesterday for one of my favorite races, the annual ARR Thanksgiving Day Classic.  This is a great race because it is a 10 mile race that after completing I could eat as much as I wanted with no regards.  Well yesterday I ran in the other race, the 5K, a race in my previous running snobbery days always considered good for grandmas and toddlers. In fact I didn’t just run in this race yesterday, I also lined up about halfway back in the corral with the rest of the causal runners.  This was an entirely new perspective for me.  To my left was an elderly gentleman that looked as if he needed to get to the mall for his shift as Santa.  However this Santa’s long white hair was pulled back in  pigtails and was doused in petrulli oil.  Behind me was a dad and his 10 year-old kid that was telling everyone he hoped to run the race in 45 hours.  Once was kinda cute but eleven or so times was just annoying.  Hummm, am I the Grinch?  Then to my right was an Indian family.  No I am not being politically incorrect and not using Native American, I am actually talking about a family from the India that Columbus was basically looking for on his misadventure. The mom and two kids looked ready to go in the CoolMax running gear, but the dad was in jeans and a polo shirt.  And lastly in front of me was a woman that was running her first race since having her shin replaced with a metal rod.   I have fallen so far out of shape that I was competing against middle age men in jeans and Santa Claus.

When the race started I had to walk for a minute before getting to the actual starting line to start running, a term a I use rather loosely in this case.  In the past in self delusion I would position myself as far forward as possible in a starting corral and would take off flying.  Now I had people that were walking from the get go that I had to negotiate around and in the spirit of the holidays, they were usually an extended family walking side by side making my task as difficult as possible.  I felt like  I was playing human Frogger.

The course is a simple out and back, nothing fancy.  The mind was willing but the legs were not.  I tried switching into that racing gear but I seemed to have left that somewhere in 2011.

Even once I was able to run consistently the course was narrow and packed with people.  I was in desperate need to launch a snot rocket but it was so crowded that it was impossible without a serious breach of social graces.  So off I ran unable to breath out of my nose.  I was being passed by people that I told myself were running the Galloway method as they would sprint by me then walk a while with their hands atop their heads trying to regain their breath.  Then they would zip by me again only to stop again a 100 yards later.  I passed a lady that was prepared  for the grizzling 3.1 miles with her fuel belt loaded with two water bottles and three gels.  By the time I clocked a mile I was regretting eating a hearty bowl of oatmeal earlier as visions of my Yoshi run started creeping into my mind. 12770613722xmPHnS

As I was approaching the turnaround point I discovered that my old basset hound assessment was probably accurate as I saw a woman with her antler-clad Pomeranian already on her way back.  I was clearly not faster than  dog with 3 inch legs.  However I was faster than Santa as I was finally able to shake him at the turn around.  On my way back I was passed by a guy pushing a baby jogger, one of the ultimate humiliations just behind losing to the costumed folks (I wont’t even bring up the indignation of losing to a costumed Pomeranian).  The kid in the jogger looked at me and said “bye bye” as they passed me, just in case the embarrassment wasn’t quite enough already. I was being trash talked to by a frickin 3 year-old.   But my ego wasn’t damaged enough yet because the next one to pass me was the kid with  his 45 hour 5K pace.  Had Mr. Blue Jeans passed me I was prepared to officially retire right then and there.

I finally finished unceremoniously at 26.55, neither tired nor spent, no matter how hard I tried, I never was able to shift it to that higher gear.  The time certainly wasn’t my worse.  Ironically the first race I ever ran was a  Turkey Trot in Marina Del Rey back in 1992.  I ran it after I graduated from college and put on 35 pounds. I was trying to get back into shape, of course my other exercise was a rowing machine with a pitcher of vodka tonics for hydration..  I think initial race took  around 45 minutes for me to finish and I didn’t lose a pound.  Fortunately that was pre-Internet so there is no record of this event that I am aware exists.  I wasn’t disappointed with my race yesterday, rather decided I needed some new realistic short term running goals:  my next race I will try and crack top five in the under 10 division and not lose to any dogs classified as toys or terriers.

But I got my ass out of bed and at least ran so how disappointed can I really be?  This allowed me to enjoy Thanksgiving dinner guilt free, though I did gain 4 pounds yesterday.  No problem, I will just throw on a pair of jeans and go for a run.

2013 B.A.A. 5K

April, 14 2013

finishFirst things first, I am too slow to qualify for the Boston Marathon.  Carolyn has taken care of that, so while here in Boston, I signed up for the Boston Athletic Association’s 5K, the first race of the B.A.A.’s Distance Medley series.

The weekend started with the race packet pick-up of course.  The marathon packet pick-up was a well oiled machine, a combination of assembly line and Homeland Security, while the 5K was off in a distant lonely room with a couple of friendly volunteers biding their time until they get promoted to the big show.  Walking into the tiny room I realized I left my wallet at home when I saw all the massive signs plastered everywhere saying ID  required for packet pick-up.  I sheepishly walked up to the check-in person and started telling her the whole back story of how I left my wallet at home and didn’t have ID.  Halfway through, she cut me off and informed me it was no problem and asked for my name.  As she handed me my packet, she asked “Oh yea,  can you sign your registration card, I keep forgetting to get people to sign it”.  Over at the marathon side, they were asking Carolyn for blood sample and mother’s maiden name. Eric Rutin and the jester

Today was race morning and cold.  I abandoned my University of Arizona short sleeve shirt and opted for long sleeves.  We gave ourselves an hour to drive, park and get to the starting area.  It took a little over 20 minutes and the bitter cold dissipated.  Damn, I should have worn my U of A shirt.  The race started in Copley Square.  6,500 runners were crammed into the narrow streets to meandered around the Back Bay.  I started in the 8:00 pace corral but if I had any intention of actually running for time, i should have worked my way up to the front.  Instead I was back in the pack next to a guy dressed like a jester.  I also met a guy from Hermosa Beach wearing a Redondo Beach Super Bowl 10K shirt.  I told him how I ran this race in 1993 and he showed me pictures of his buddies and him dressed as salmon running the course backwards in 20 years later.  Turns out his house is a block from my old place there.  The people you meet in a starting corral.

Eric Rutin runningThe race was a series of turn after turn which lead to incessant traffic jams. It was really cool running in Boston but I thought how damn cool it will be tomorrow for Carolyn running from Hopkinton to Copley Square.  Looking at my Garmin, I saw my pace fluctuating from 7:35 to over 11:00 but I didn’t care.  I was just enjoying being part of a B.A.A event.  At mile 2 I saw the jester and while I wasn’t too concerned with my time, I was not going to let a joker beat me and accelerated by him.  I weaved my way past him and settled in behind a group five wide that was planning their dinner party for tonight.  It was just after that I was passed by a stocky, grey haired New Englander that had no qualms bulldozing through the human barriers  I tucked in behind him until the final stretch down Boylston Avenue then sprinted to the finish, the same one the that the 27,000 marathoners will cross tomorrow.

The race was fun and allowed me to check Massachusetts off my 50 Bib in 50s States quest.  It also probably is going to be my only opportunity to cross the fabled finish line.


Why I run

June 16, 2012

eric rutin runningWhy do I run?  I often ask myself that question.  I have discovered there is no one reason.  Each day, each run there seems to be a different reason. Sure you could probably lump the various motivations down to a few categories, but I like to think each run is unique.

I didn’t technically run in high school.  I played lacrosse and my running was usually limited to conditioning which included around a two mile run once a week around the grounds of Cranbrook.  In order to stay in shape when during the off-season I would every now and then run around the grounds which was a good workout as  I doubt there was a more than 100 yards of level running on the grounds of the campus.  I did run track one spring,  just long enough to go on the legendary spring track trip down to Chapel Hill with Scott Lebo, Christopher Shilts and Mark Kring, but that is a story for another post.

After high school I would occasionally run around the University of Arizona campus.  I think this was more about looking at girls than actually fitness.  I mean I was 6′ 140 pounds, I was by no means needing to stay fit.  After graduation I ballooned to 195 pounds when I started the sedentary office life often called “real life”.  To lose weight I decided to run again and signed up for a 5K in Marina del Rey to inspire me.  I have no idea what time I ran it in other than remembering being passed by a girl who couldn’t have been more that 8.   A couple of years later I ran the famous Hermosa Beach Super Bowl Sunday 10K and returned to the couch for another seven years.

This is the point when I started running consistently.  I decided I was going to start running with the goal of running the San Diego Rock N Roll Marathon.  One of those I want to do before I turn 40 kinda things. I was only 34 so I was ahead of the game.  I went out and ran that day.  My first run was a success – I ran for 16 minutes and it was tough.   I figured I must have run about 2 and a half miles based on that time.  I felt good. Well until the next morning when driving to work I discovered I actually ran just shy of one mile.  I stuck with it and runs were a chore and I would  countdown until I was done.  Two more miles…one more mile…1/2 mile…4 blocks… 2 blocks…8 houses…3..driveways…done!  I remember when I completed a 5 mile long run I concluded that 10 miles was an impossible task.  I was running, but I wasn’t liking it by any mean.  I couldn’t wait for my marathon so I could never run again.  Well unless I was being chased by a zombie or fleeing a bear attack.  Oh wait, I think you are supposed to play dead for bear attacks.  Sorry for digressing.

One evening after work I had an 8 mile run scheduled.  As with each long run by this point, this would be the farthest I had ever run.  Something clicked that night and instead of counting down, I simply transcended into the moment and just enjoyed running. When I completed I was actually disappointed.

Now I have run eight marathons, a bunch of half marathons and too many 10K and 5Ks to count. Some days I still count down miles and streets, some days I am running a specific workout.  At some point during most marathons I ask myself why I do this to me and swear it is my last one.  But most runs I just head out the door and enjoy running.

I used to golf and would often think of all the things I would give up if necessary to keep playing golf.  There were many days that I considered food, water and oxygen less critical to my existence than golf.  I don’t play much golf these days, rather electing to head out the front door for a long run on the weekend than driving across town to play golf for 5 plus hours.  I get all the same rewards from running that I used to get from golf.  Running, like golf, is a battle within the self.  However with running, you can’t blame poor performance on a bad bounce or rub of the green.  You get out of running exactly what you are willing to put into it. No excuses.

Why do I run?  There is no one reason, but there is an easy answer.  I run because I am a runner.

ARR Summer Series #2

June 10, 2012

Arizona Roadracers #2

ARR Summer Series #2

This morning was the second race of Arizona Roadracers Summer Series.  The Summer Series are five 5K’s spread out throughout the Valley.  Well the Fourth of July race is actually 4 miles, but that is neither here nor there. Here in Phoenix we don’t have many  racers as it tends to get a little hot here in the summer, so the Summer Series is really for the most part the only game in town.

It was a cool 78 degrees at 6:30 AM when the horn blared to squeeze the 1000 runners through the 5 yard wide starting chute while I was sitting out in the parking lot securing my timing chip to my shoe, nowhere near the starting area.  #2 is what I would consider the trail run of the bunch as we head out on a dirt path that progressively gets dustier and dustier.  By the time I got going it was as if a haboobhad rolled in but fortunately it was surprisingly not very crowded despite the cramped starting line.  Sure I had to weave my way past the walkers and slower runners, but I was able to make my way through with plenty of room.  For the first time in a while, I actually felt like I was racing again.  Not PR-threatening racing, but passing folks at least racing.

Chip 718

The course, other than being dusty, heads out through the desert with an endless supply of dips, curves and holes that are either domiciles for prairie dogs, snakes or both.  Every step was a catastrophe waiting to happen that somehow never happened. The legs were there today and as the race progressed I felt better and better with my pace peaking in the final mile rather than collapsing.

I finished at 23:53, a several minutes north of my PR, but that wasn’t the point.  I ran to the best of my current conditioning.  The next race isn’t until the July 4th race but I feel I am going to be even stronger then.   I have been taking it easy for the past year and as I prepare to start my training for the Philadelphia Marathon I am ready to commit to not just running, but to train and work hard.

Lets see how I feel when I am waking up at 3 AM for the 20 milers that are coming up.

50 races in 50 states

May, 6 2012

Eric Rutin DOB 10/17/1967

Time to make the donuts

This morning I decided to run my lazy 3.5 mile route though the neighborhood backwards. It is a pretty simple little loop with not a lot of turns or twists. Or so I thought. I usually dip off the main drag on my way back and run along the first street south that runs parallel. However going backwards I ended up sliding down two streets and ran along side the golf course. No biggie, just one extra block.

Then when I hit 7th Avenue and turned right I ran a bit and turned right on a side street. I am not sure why but dismissed it since my four mile loop usually includes this little extra jaunt. However, I missed that little extra jaunt by 5 streets when I reemerged back on 7th Avenue rather than being deposited on Encanto as I was expecting.

This got me thinking – running is supposed to be about freedom. You lace up the Asics (ugh, hate them, so glad I am about to retire them) and head out the door. But this morning I realized I am bound by certain routes, habits and routines. I have a specific route for each distance and good God if I should ever do anything as crazy as head out without a specific mileage, planned pace goal specific purpose. I can’t remember the last time I just went and ran. Even if I decided to “just run” I am sure I would at least need the comfort of a set time. So back to my thinking.

I realized run, repeat, run, repeat methodology of my training extended to races as well. Every year I circle the same races and select one new marathon to run, two if I am doing the local PF Chang’s Rock and Roll (which in my robot-like behavior I have participated in seven times – 4 marathons and 3 halves). When talking about future races I even discuss going to run Detroit, Pittsburgh or Marine Corps Marathons again.

Summer Series 5Ks, Race for the Cure, I-Did-A-Run, Fiesta Bowl 1/2, ARR Turkey Trot 10 Mile, etc. etc.

My 2011 looked like i Xeroxed my 2010 calendar, which looked not surprisingly like my 2005. And guess what? My 2012 is shaping up to look the same again with the exception of Philly in November. My running has become the equivalent of that old Dunkin Donut guy – “Time to make the donuts.”

So on my run this morning I decided it is time for a new perspective.

The New and Improved Perspective

I started thinking about things I could do to shake it up. Of course I could accomplish this through my blog and writing about different things. But I needed a new plan, a bigger plan. When I hit finally actually arrived at Encanto I had my new bigger plan.

I decided I am going to run a race in all 50 states. I started thinking about the 50 State Marathon Club and while it is a very noble accomplishment, but that is too rigid for my new perspective. Why limit to just 26.2 milers? I needed freedom and flexibility. I have run two marathons in California, but the race I have always want to run is Bay to Breakers up in San Francisco – a 12K with a measly hundred years of tradition. Of course a lot of that tradition is runners in crazy costumes or no costumes at all, as in running naked. Why would I want to exclude this opportunity to only run in a marathon?

Other states have great shorter races as well. Do I really want to skip the Peachtree Road Race in Atlanta, the countries largest 10K that had to cap participation at 60,000 and and a lottery to their entry due to its popularity just to run the Publinx Georgia Marathon? Other great races around the country such as: Bolder Boulder 10K in Colorado, the Utica Boilermaker 15K in the Mohawk Valley of New York, and The New Haven Road Race with its history of world class athletes participation.

There are quirky races I probably would never run in, but would certainly not forget if I did. This is my opportunity to run in in races like the Impossible 5k in Kennesaw, GA that starts at 1:50 am on the day that daylight savings kicks in at 2:00 am, allowing runners to end up with a negative finishing time. Or how about the Krispy Kreme Challenge 5K in North Carolina that requires you to polish off a dozen donuts before the finish line. The Crystal City in Missouri is a 5K in an abandoned underground sand mine. Everyone knows I hate running in the cold, but there is the Freeze yer Gizzard in International Falls, MN in January where the average temperature is -8 degrees. And even though I barely drink these days, I could run the 2 mile Beer Belly Run in Green Bay (where else?) that has beer stations every half mile.

The Proclamation

Eric Rutin DOB 10/17/1967So today I decided I am going to compete this task, provided of course I don’t die prematurely. I am not sure if there is an official group like the 50 States Marathon Club or not (if there is, please let me know) for the adventure. I am 45 now and I would love to say I will do the symbolic gesture of completing it by the time I turn 50, but I am also a realist so I will just go out and say I will complete this while I am in my 50s!

I can check off Arizona (too many to name), California (RNR 2x and Redondo Beach Super Bowl 10K, Pennsylvania (Pittsburgh Marathon), Michigan (Detroit Marathon, Cranbrook Fall Run), Florida (Jupiter Turtle Trot), Oregon (Hood to Coast) and I need to figure out how to claim Marine Corps Marathon.

I invite everyone to join me on their own journey to run a race in every state. Just curious, how many states have you completed a race in?

Eric Rutin gets lazy and fat

March 7, 2012

Eric Rutin is a couch potatoI just ran 26.2 miles less than two months ago and now 6 weeks later you would think I never ran a 5K. In fact, running a charity 5K last weekend one of the volunteers thought just that.  I was about 200 yards from the finish line when my shoe came untied (more on that in a second) and I stopped to tie it.  Now if I was pushing it and trying to PR or at least post a competitive time to beat Jeff, I never would have stopped. Hell I would have run with one shoe without breaking stride.  But this race wasn’t such an occasion, so I stopped and tied it, not worrying about the handful of lost seconds. That was when one of the helpful volunteers politely encouraged me by by shouting, “don’t quit now, you can finish!”.

Come on, this was a frickin 5K and I am an 8 time marathon finisher, not to mention scores of 3.1 milers.   I wanted to shout back at him.  I was torn between feeling extremely insulted and the need to explain the situation. Instead I quickly tied my shoe and gave a little nod and sprinted to the finish.

The sad thing I was actually tired. I wouldn’t admit it to anyone and barely could admit it to myself.  But the reality is I am running once or twice a week and not in very good shape.  How does one fall out of shape so quickly? I ran 6 miles with Jeff last weekend and was struggling to finish.  Oh yea, I can blame it on the 5 the day before!

Eric Rutin ice creamI am not a fanatic about my weight or my diet, but when I am running well I tend to weigh around 170.  I was at 172 for the PF Changs in January and for a rounder like me, that was close enough.  Now I am pushing 180 again and slow.  I am not sure if not having a marathon on the calendar until November (Philly for those of you that care) is contributing to my lack of motivation, but if I look back I lacked serious motivation while I trained for PF Changs.

All I really know is I just polished off a large turkey burger for dinner.  It was large enough that I made the comment to Carolyn before we dined that I am pretty sure my portion sizes are contributing to our nation’s obesity epidemic. And if that isn’t enough, I am finishing this post so I can go have a nice bowl of vanilla ice cream with ample chocolate sauce.

Oh yea, back to the shoelace.  I am constantly reminded of my bitterness towards adidas for discontinuing my Supernova Classics as my current Asics 2160’s simply can not stay tied.  I refuse to double knot them since I never had to with my adidas for the 10 years I ran with them.  Damn you adidas.  Damn you.

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