Well this will be different–GW Parkway 10 miler prep

I have done a lot of different things in running races (many of them less than brilliant).  For all these races from 5K to 24 HR races there was one thing in common with all these races—-I raced.

For the George Washington Parkway 10 Miler I will do something I have never done before.  I am not going to actually race the race, but rather treat it more like a long run.

When I signed up for this race, I was planning on it being the cornerstone of my spring racing campaign, but then ended up signing for three other races.  The most important of these (to me anyway) is next week’s Frederick Half Marathon.

One of the problems of being an ancient older runner is that I can’t jump from race to race as easily as I once could.  I might of be able to run GW Parkway at a 10 miler pace and come back the next week and set a PR in the half, but then again I might not.  So I will err on the side of caution and run something closer to a long run pace so I can protect a shot at PRing my half in Frederick next weekend.

Instead of wearing headphones and jamming to high cadence music, I am just going to take in the sounds of everyone, enjoy the beautiful spring along the Potomac River and embrace the experience.

This of course means it will rain the entire time and I will curse my decision every step of the way. Actually, I know that isn’t true, because there is beer at the end.  Beer, on the other hand, I promise to race for once I cross the finish line.

Flowers for Friday

Flowers for Friday

The cherry blossoms are gone, but you get a bonus Flowers for Friday anyway

The cherry blossoms are gone, but you get a bonus Flowers for Friday anyway

Everyone have a pigtastic weekend.

Later,

Marsden

Just Running In the Rain

Watching the Boston Marathon this week made me think about running in the rain and tactics to counteract a soggy race.  Here are various ways I have dealt with it over the years and a couple of others that I have heard work.

It's going to rain.  Don't believe the sliver of sunshine.  Another reason I don't write motivational posters.

It’s going to rain. Don’t believe the sliver of sunshine. Another reason I don’t write motivational posters.

1. The stick your head in the sand strategy

It won’t rain.  It won’t rain. It won’t rain. It won’t rain.

Crap, it’s raining.

I embraced this tactic when I was running the Army Run.  I basically ignored the possibility of rain. Needless to say the heavens opened up, but sometimes it works out just to plow your way through it.  If the temp isn’t cold, rain can actually be a refreshing.  The other possibility is you end up looking like a soggy cat Popsicle. You weren’t going to buy that race pic anyway.

2. Buy all the Rain Gear

This was the strategy I employed for Across the Years.  When it looked like it would rain for 12 out of the 24 hours I dropped all my savings on rain gear.  I have to admit it did the trick–>it only rained for about 2 hours.  For me, if it takes dropping a few bucks on rain gear to keep the rain away, it’s worth it.

If this doesn’t work and it rains anyway, at least you are prepared.  For this option you will look like a North Face Blob. You weren’t going to by those race pics anyway (especially since you can’t tell it’s you under all that Gore Tex gear).

3. Train for it

If you are going to race in the rain, you should train in the rain.  And if you are going to be hard-core, then wear a singlet and shorts even when it is 33 deg F with a 40 MPH wind.  What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.  Although you may end up with race photos that show you with the pneumonia you got during training.  You weren’t going to buy those race photos anyway.

4. Garbage Bag Chic

You are too cheap for the expensive rain gear, but want some protection, so it is time for the age-old tradition of wearing a garbage bag for an entire race.  You weren’t going to buy those race pics anyway.  Your friends on the other hand are going to buy them and show them everywhere you go until the day you die.

 

Later,

Marsden

 

You are Training At the Wrong Pace

Folks, I have some bad news for some of you.  Your race pace efforts during training may be at the wrong pace.  You are likely thinking, “What the heck do you know about my training pace for my race goals?  Hell, you live with a pig.”

1. I live with the Pig, not a pig.

2. It doesn’t mean your race pace runs aren’t too slow anyway.

Why do I think a race pace effort training runs may be too slow?  Because the distance you are running your races is longer than advertised.  This recently came to the front of 17,000+ runners who ran the Cherry Blossom 10 miler which turned into the Cherry Blossom 9.39 miler.  Most people found that their GPS watches were above that mileage (in some cases 4/10 of a mile above that).  Why does this matter to you?  Let me hand this over to Professor Pig.

Professor Pig on his professor chair.  I've never thought to ask what his PHD is in.  Probably animal husbandry.

Professor Pig on his professor chair. I’ve never thought to ask what his PhD is in–probably animal husbandry.

Take your typical high school track.  The distance of the inside lane is shorter than the outside lane.  Races are measured by the shortest distance of the course.  So, if you don’t take all the curves perfectly, or swerve to get water it adds distance to your race.  The longer you run, the more time it takes.  Back to Marsden.

Thanks Pig, so let me provide an example.  Let’s say you are running a 10 Miler (a real one, not a 9.39 mile one).  Let’s say you are running 10 minute miles and your goal time is 1 hour and 40 minutes.  So in training you run 10 minute miles for your tempo runs.  Great right? Not exactly. Because on race day you aren’t going to run 10 miles, you are going to run 10.1 miles (or 10.2).  That .1 or .2 miles takes 1-2 minutes to run.  So you run 10 minute miles and you end up with a final time of 1:41-1:42 and end up so disappointed with your results that you go on a week-long drinking spree with your friend Professor Pig and tear yourself apart in your blog.  Hmmm, maybe that’s just me.

The faster you are the less of a problem this is (I would go into fluid dynamic flow theory, but most of you are pretty bored with this post already (and I only got a B in analytically fluid dynamics anyway)).  As a non-scientific example of how this works, the people I talked to who ran CUCB and were faster than I am had a distance of 9.4-9.45 miles (actual was 9.39).  I had 9.5 and those behind me ranged as high as 9.8 miles.

So what does this have to do with training race pace?  Let’s go back to the 10 miler with 10 minute miles.  If this hypothetical person with their hypothetical pig is actually going to run 10.2 miles, then the person needs to shave 120 seconds from their time to run a 1:40 10 miler.  So instead of running 10 min miles in training, they should run 9:48 (10- (120/10)).

But how can your predict how far off you will be?  You could look at your past race results and compare the course to your GPS watch data.  What I do is just make my paces 10 seconds per mile below my goal for race pace/tempo efforts.  You will have to experiment to figure out what works for you.

Does it really matter?  Well, race pace runs should mimic what you plan on for a race.  Does 3-10 secs a mile in some training runs change your race day result?  I will leave that as an exercise for the reader.

Later,

Marsden

It's a picture of the Washington Monument with a Cherry Blossom tree.  It is at pre-dawn.

The blossoms are past peak now, but I can think back to last week (barely)

 

 

The Pig Takes Over My Job

I thought about handing over my Friday post to the Pig, and I still may do that, but I had an even better idea—> Why not let the Pig do my day job for me.  Here is the pics from the Pig being large and in charge being an IT project manager for a day.

The Day starts with coffee

The Day starts with coffee

Taking Metro into work.  Not sure how the backpack fits him.

Taking Metro into work. Not sure how he lugs the backpack around.

More coffee

More coffee. Yes that is a CUCB 2014 sticker on the side of the coffee maker.

Sending email and showing off the results of all those squats

Sending email and showing off the results of all those squats he does.  Thank Costco for the extra-large Clorox wipes.  As you might have noticed that I don’t keep the neatest of offices.  The Pig didn’t mind the pigsty.

Conference call.

Conference call.  Our phone lines aren’t great so I suspect that no one noticed the squealing.

Of course he had lunch

Of course he had lunch.  This explains the charge on my credit card.

The Pig bring treats to the meeting he will be running.

The Pig bring treats to the meeting he will be running later in the afternoon. Yes, I had to pay the rightful owners back.

 

Wearing my badge is somewhat unwieldy .  Security didn't blink an eye I bet.

Wearing my badge is somewhat unwieldy . Security didn’t blink an eye I bet.  Watch out for the stabler dude.

The Pig runs the meeting

The Pig runs the meeting.  Did he really need more caffeine?

A little foam rolling action before heading home.

A little foam rolling action before heading home.

All in all, I don’t think anyone noticed that he had taken my place.  Makes me even more leery of letting him have a day a week on this blog.  Yes, for the record he wanted a cut of my salary.

Here is your Flowers for Friday

Flowers for Friday

Flowers for Friday

Everyone have a Pigtastic weekend!

Later,

Marsden

 

 

 

 

The 7 Deadly Sins of Running

I was searching for a topic for today’s post and was looking at myself in the mirror (no, that’s too easy a joke) and thought about the 7 deadly sins and how this could be applied to running.  Here is what I came up with:

Lust

I’m not just talking about the “Wow that person has been doing their leg work” type of lust.  I’m talking about a far more powerful attraction—>Shoe Lust.  Yes, that heart palpitation you have when the instantly attracted to new pair of shoes that you MUST have.

It is a picture of the author.  The picture does not go with the sin of Lust.  Just trust me on that one.

No this picture isn’t for Lust; it’s for the next one.  Not sure what the heck is going on with my eyes.It is rather early in the morning and I hadn’t had any caffeine. OK, I’m just creepy.  Fortunately, that isn’t a sin.

Gluttony

Gluttony ranges the gambit from testing the limits of the never-ending pasta bowl in the name of carb loading to the insidious need to by enormous quantities of running gear that you like.  I would tell you the number of pairs of Gel Nimbus I own but my mouth is full of bread sticks.

Greed

Two words—> Race medals

Sloth

As the originator of Slow Sloth Saturday long runs I excel at being a sloth.  Slothfulness seems to take hold every morning when I should be doing my core work.  You never have heard a sloth being accused of having abs of steel.

Wrath

That moron who cut me off–I’m going to kick their ass!  Well, if I ever catch up to them.

Envy

Have you ever been on Instagram and seen a pace and said to yourself “I wish I could go that fast”?  Me neither.

Pride

When you get passed by the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man or a woman in a neck brace, it is easy to keep your pride in check.  The Pig on the other hand…

Later,

Marsden

The Awesome Cherry Blossom 9.45? Miler Race Report (2015)

When you take Metro to the CUCB 10 Miler, you trudge half asleep to the train.  It’s dark, cold, and then you get your station you see other runners who are sharing your underground journey in the darkness.

But something wonderful happens on the other end of the train ride. You emerge from the dingy underground station to the initial rays of dawn slowly rising over the horizon. Those rays of sunlight illuminate the Washington monument, the Capitol and the rest of DC.  Like the winter that never seems to end, the sunlight reminds us that spring is here and the cherry blossoms are blooming.  I took in this beautiful scene and thought to myself: Man, I need to pee.

The Friday before the race, I went to the Building Museum in DC to packet pick-up.  By a stroke of luck I went in the side door which the volunteers directed me to the mezzanine for packet pick up. This kept me from the block long line that those who went in the front entrance had to endure.  While I was in line I looked at the building models they had on exhibit (the expo is in the background).

Not sure who would live in this building.  Expo is in the background which is all most of you care about.

Not sure who would live in this building. Expo is in the background which is all most of you care about.  The building kind of looks like a Garmin representation of hill repeats.

DC residents are required by law to post pictures like this.  I live in NOVA, but go along anyway.

DC residents are required by law to post pictures like this. I live in NOVA, but go along anyway.

After picking up my packet (and one for @stephaniechivis of Crazy Ultra Mother Runner (I’m a full service blogger)).  I went to listen to a talk by Bill Rodgers, the 4 time Boston Marathon winner (and 4 time Cherry Blossom winner).  After the talk I got my bib autographed by him figuring it might spur me to a better time.  OK, it was more likely that I will just end up with ink all over my legs from the sweat over the signature, but let’s be honest, when you carry a pig around, a little ink doesn’t really make you more of a freak.  I also got to say hi to tai_fung who was providing “security” and directing people.  In the name of security we took a selfie.

Yes, I am too lazy to edit this pic.

Yes, I am too lazy to edit this pic and my jacket collar has a mind of its own.

Saturday was a picture perfect day and it was hard not to go for a run.  My better instincts (OK, this is me maybe plural is pushing it) kicked in and I put appreciated the stunningly gorgeous day from the porch.

Another tree in bloom picture

Not the view from my porch, but the view in the parking lot where I get my massages.

So my alarm went off at o-dark-hundred on Sunday morning.  I jumped out of the bed in the excitement and…OK that is total BS, I was half asleep and thought about going back to sleep but I knew today was going to be a great day to run so I stumbled out of bed and asked the Pig to make some coffee while I got dressed.

I did some light dynamic stretching and foam rolling and after some coffee and a PB&J sandwich the Pig and I were off to Metro to ride to the start.

There are few feelings that match showing up to a race site.

I met Stephanie after she phoned me by the porta potties (remind me to wipe down my phone later) and gave her race bib.  Of course for her the highlight was meeting the Pig.  She is training for the ATR 24 hour race and was going to use the race as a training run.  We wished each other good luck and I went off the gear check.

After gear check and another pit stop, I did some more dynamic stretching and did some light strides to warm up.  As I was walking toward the corrals, they announced that there was “An emergency”.  When you like in the DC area and they announce “An emergency” you first thought is that an inch of snow fell.  After that is eliminated, your thoughts go much darker.  They then said that there was an “accident” on the course and that there was a police criminal investigation going on so the race organizers were going to have to reroute the course (after the race I heard it was a shooting but later learned that a motorcycle hit a pedestrian on closed Independence Ave).  On top of the course being rerouted it would be shortened to something like 9.5 miles.  Some people cheered that they wouldn’t have to run as far.  I was looking forward to breaking my 10 miler PR, but did take some comfort that I would be setting a 9.5 mile race record for myself (for my European and Canadian audience, a PB.  Man, I want peanut butter again, why do I keep doing that to myself?)

Then it was time to get in my corral (blue this year which matches my eyes).  I was able to get a spot at the front of the corral so I hoped that would help not be in traffic so much (spoiler alert-HA!).

The gun went off and I went nowhere.  First the yellow corral went off, then the red and it was time to the blue corral to go.  When the blue was allowed to go, I tore off and with open space I was going to the pace I wanted.  It lasted about 0.1 miles before we ran into the back of the red corral and I started having to weave in and out of traffic.  The first mile came in at 8:38 which I felt decent about considering I wasn’t able to get a good rhythm going.  The 2nd mile was much like the first with there being a lot of people to weave in and out of as we crossed the Memorial Bridge (for my non DC readers this is the bridge that connects the Arlington cemetery area with the Lincoln Memorial (OK, nobody cared about that aside, but I’m leaving it in any way, so there)).  Mile 2 clocked in at 8:35 so I had avoided the slow start that I had at 1775K.

During mile 3 there was a slight downhill and I got a bit carried away and that mile was 8:26.    Mile 4 and 5 were back to normal pace wise as we weaved along the tidal basin.  After mile 4 was the race course was modified and that was where we lost around .5 miles (only in DC can someone lose a half a mile).  Then we hit the highlight of the run–Hains Point.

This year the peak of Cherry Blossom blooms was during the race and Hains Point was alive with an explosion of blossoms.  It was like Christmas in April.  Even though there were 15,000 runners it was probably one of the less crowded times in Hains Point.  For once Hains Point was actually enjoyable.  The wind was light, the trees were blooming and I was running at a good pace.  Both miles 6 and 7 came in at 8:35.  Mile 9 clocked in at 8:32 with about 800 yards to go.  I had opened it up a bit at Mile 9 but decided against sprinting to the finish so I could better gauge a half marathon pace.  That being said I did feel obligated to pass one bozo that cut me off with a quarter of a mile to go.  Final time was 1:21:13.   What pace was that?  God only knows.  My Garmin had it at 8:33.  I typically add 10 seconds a mile to account for me running longer than the course and that would make it an 8:43 pace. 8:43 is a solid effort for me.

I have to admit I will be interested to see the mental gymnastics bloggers will perform to determine their time and pace.  The people I have talked to have had the course range from 9.45 to 9.8 miles (I had 9.5).  My guess at what they will have when they measure it is 9.4136423 (who knows if they will round).

I would like to thank the course organizers for their quick replan and for all the volunteers for their efforts.  Without volunteers there would have been 15,000+ runners out there looking pretty dumb without a race.

After the race I went up to the Hamilton Hotel and met @midpackbiped for a beer.  We did what two old runners do when they get together (well other than bitch about injuries) we talked running war stories.   But just because we are older doesn’t mean that we can’t take a selfie.

Two guy and the Pig go into a bar...

Two guys and the Pig go into a bar…

And of course he wanted one with the Pig.

Midpackbiped and the Pig.

Midpackbiped and the Pig.

After my beer I walked through the mobs of people looking at the Cherry Blossoms and once I hit the Jefferson Memorial I ran home because I wanted to sound badass.  My pace was less than badass, but you probably have noticed I didn’t post those split times.

A pictures of the Cherry Trees in blossom.  It is stunningly beautiful.  But not as beautiful as you.

Ka-bloom!

I wish it lasted longer.  Much like the race in that respect.

I wish the blossoms  lasted longer. Much like the race in that respect.

My Takeaways

1. I ran (for me) a fairly even pace.  This gives me confidence that in three weeks I can put in a good result in the Frederick Half.

2. The end result is better than last year, and although I would have like a bright shiny 10 miler PR, I can be not unhappy (happy is pushing it with me) with knocking 50+ seconds per mile off my time from last year.  Plus I have a 9.X mile PR where X will be determined at a later time.

3. 10 years from now everyone who ran this race will not mention it wasn’t 10 miles when they show off how well they did at this race.

Later,

Marsden

 

 

Welcome to DC for the Cherry Blossom 10 Miler

Welcome to DC.  No, really, the people of the DC/MD/VA (the DMV to those in the know) love the strangers who clog our streets wandering around like in a drug induced coma. OK, given changes in DC law in the last year, that describes many a local too, but we aren’t going to get into that.  I’m here to help you navigate the wonderful world of DC and the surround environs (environs sounds better than Maryland and Virginia) and provide some tips for the Cherry Blossom 10 miler and 5K.

Cherry Blossom InkNBurn style

Cherry Blossom InkNBurn style  OK, it is mostly fuzzy.  This is from when I first got my phone and I couldn’t take pictures worth crap.  This is really a dumb shot which I am trying to save my having a funny caption because I am too lazy to delete the picture.  It’s not working. 

So you are running the Cherry Blossom 10 miler or 5K and want to know all the inside scoop?  Well, what kind of blogger would I be if I didn’t provide the low down to make your trip a high-five.

When riding the escalator in Metro STAND TO THE RIGHT OR DIE

OK, nothing else really matters but I am going to keep going. If you feel your memory slipping, stop reading and go back to the start.

 

There goes the bloom!

There goes the bloom!

Parking for the Cherry Blossom 10 Miler

You may have looked at pictures of DC and thought that DC has plenty of parking.  That wasn’t parking, that was freeway system at a total standstill.  The good news is that if you drive, you will get an excellent warm up running to the start line because closest cheap parking is in Bethesda.  As an added bonus, you will get your 20 miler in for your marathon the training.

What about Metro?

The only thing that keeps Metro from being the bottom layer of hell is DC traffic and Maryland drivers.  If you do take Metro the closest stop is Smithsonian.  This mean there will some reason that station will be closed and you will be shuttle from another stop.  This shuttle will make wish you drove.

What about the Bus?

Hahahahahahahahaha.  No, seriously, don’t.  Most buses are “Out of Service” and the other ones aren’t going where you are going.

I got in the city, where should I park?

Well, there usually isn’t anyone parked on the National Mall.  Just drive up to the Washington monument and toss your keys to the first park ranger you see!  Think of it as your tax dollars at work.

Any tips for the race?

You got this far into my blog and you are asking that question?  I recommend getting in your corral early.  Of course everyone is getting the same advice so you have to get there extra early, like 4 PM on Saturday.  It’s a free country and you have the right to stand on 14th street any time you want.  Ignore the honking cars; they are just saying “hi”.

Are you on drugs?

Well…

Later,

Marsden

Well I am going to give you one semi-useful tip.  Although it is forecast to be cool on race morning, it warms up fast, so don’t over dress.  Consider this your reward for reading the entire post.

It better not rain

It better not rain

Race Day Sabotoge

My friend Jen from Crazy Cupcake Runner and I wanted to do a blog post on how to improve your running.  We then realized that we know next to nothing about improving your running.  We are however rather knowledgeable on how to sabotage your running.  Yesterday Jen blogged on How to Sabotage your training.  Well you can’t completely rely on crappy training to produce crappy race results.  Here in part two, I show you how to sabotage your race day.

Pre-Race Fueling

  1. Carb load right up through mile 1.
  2. So what if the race starts at noon, don’t eat a thing until mile 20 because you run faster when you are lighter.
  3. Since you are still drunk from yesterday’s happy hour, you are good to go except for that nagging double vision.

Race Clothes

  1. Anything under 50 deg F requires a minimum of a down coat and three other layers.
  2. Shorts and a singlet even if there is a blizzard.
  3. Go the Emperor has no clothes route (note, I don’t want to know where you clip your ipod).

Warm Up

  1. You are going to warm up in the first few miles anyway, why bother?
  2. You should do 10 strides, 3 mile repeats with 40 seconds rest between each, 2×400, 1×800, 50 push-ups, and an 8 minute plank. At that point you are ready to warm up.
  3. Cover your entire body in Hot Hands covered in Biofreeze

Picking your race pace

  1. Go full tilt from the starting gun like your hair is on fire.
  2. Pick the pace group based on which pacer has the cutest butt.
  3. Get stuck in the porta potty debating what to do when you drop your phone at an inopportune time.

Race hydration

  1. Why waste valuable seconds drinking water? The odds of dying of dehydration are small.
  2. Drink at least 50 ounces of water per water stop. The odds of dying of hypernatremia are small.
  3. Who cares one way or another? Stop at the water stops if the person handing out water is cute.  The odds of getting killed after asking them out on a date are small.

Post Race Fueling

  1. Who needs food after a race? It will just make you feel like vomiting.
  2. Take all the bananas, bagels and water bottles you can carry. It will save you having to buy lunch for a week.
  3. Hope that your race medal is actually made of chocolate.

 

It is a picture of a race medal that is in the shape of the Liberty Bell.  It would be nice if it were chocolate.

This would be better in chocolate

Later,

Marsden

Tapering Sorta Kinda

I am a week away from the start of the CUCB 10 miler.  It is the 2nd priority of the 4 races I have this spring.  I’m treating is as a dry run for the Frederick Half in early May (which is my top priority).  My goal is to go hard, but not do anything stupid (stop laughing) and hopefully knock 5 or more minutes from last year’s time.

Sounds great in theory, but we will see what it does in practice.  Although I would like to be more in taper mode for this race, life gets in the way of that sometimes.  In Arlington, the county does spring yard waste pick up over a 4 week period.  With the late spring weather this year many of the weeds that are part of my spring waste weren’t up yet, plus who wants to pull weeds if the wind chill is below freezing.  The offshoot is that I basically have two weeks to get my stuff to the curb.  So I did a few hundred squats pulling weeds, picking up stray branches, twigs and the such.  No, the Pig did not help.  I got much of the work done but I suspect I will be pulling up dandelions and picking up the last of the branches after next week’s 10 miler (woohoo for weird cool downs).

 

The picture is of 7 yard waste bags up against the curb.

Lots of bags equal lots of squats

So what’s the plan this week for running?  Well I ran 9 miles on Saturday, 3 miles on Sunday.  This is slightly more than I would for my standard taper (6 on Saturday and skip Sunday) but less that if I wasn’t racing at all this week (which would have been 14 on Saturday and 5 on Sunday).  Tuesday will be around 6 miles with a couple of miles at race pace.  Thursday will be 3 miles and then I will rest until the race on Sunday.  With a little luck I can convince the pig to take care of household chores because I’m “tapering”.  Although that isn’t likely to work. at least the taper crazies are pretty much indistinguishable from my standard crazies.

Not sure what my tactics for the race will be.  Last year I got in my corral early and was up at the front.  This was good to have fewer people around me for the first 1/4 mile or so, but wasn’t as good for warming up.  Plus there was there woman who was jogging in place and jamming her butt into my crotch. Not sure if I will try to use the same corral tactic this year or not.  I hope to run the first couple of miles quickly, but not insane, and then open it up once there aren’t as many people around to have to weave in and out of.  This requires patience and this isn’t standard operating procedure around here.  The main goal is to see what pace I can sustain without giving every last ounce so I have an idea what kind of pace to target for my half next month.

Next week you can read my race report and see how it turns out.  No doubt it won’t resemble anything I was trying to do and the Pig will just shake his head at me (which happens a lot).

I’ll leave you with some pics from NOVA as winter is finally losing its grip.

Picture of a blooming tree.  Not to be confused with a blooming onion.

Spring!

Smile!  Or don’t.  I just wanted to put some text in between the two photos.

 

Another blooming tree pic.  This one has pink instead of white flowers.

More spring!

Later,

Marsden

Flying Friday

The Pig was interviewed by Penny Wolford who is one of the social media bloggers for the Cincinnati Flying Pig Marathon.  Yes, you read that right, the Pig was interviewed for a blog.  If you are wondering why the Pig was interviewed, well he is an expert at being a flying pig and it does tie in nicely with that marathon.  If you want to read the interview, it can be found here. No word on when Abby (the other half of @AbbyandthePig) will be interviewed.

 

Flowers for Friday

Flowers for Friday

So I have one race down out of my four in my spring racing season.  It went fairly well, but I keep going back and forth on how I feel about it.  One one hand I knocked a good chunk of time from last year, but I can’t quite shake the nagging feeling I should have done better.  I’m feeling overall better, so I can take solace in that.

I haven’t blogged about the blog in a while.  Like my 1775K results, I should be happier about the state of the blog than I am.  If you are thinking that my problems are not my running or the blog, but rather my attitude, the Pig has already pointed that out to me (fortunately this did not come out during his interview).

Here are the positives for the blog.

1. My numbers are way up from last year at this time.  This wouldn’t be hard since I was a new blogger and only a handful of people read the blog, but still progress is progress.

2. My fictional tour of Runner’s World was my 2nd most read post ever and even got me an invite to tour Runner’s World HQ from Bart Yasso.  Even the CEO of Rodale (who publishes Runner’s World, and Running Times among other magazines) commented on the blog which was cool for me as a blogger.

3. Courtesy of tagging my posts and the wonderful world of search engines my older posts are actually being read.  My 1775K race report from last year actually had more hits for a few days this week than my race report from this year.  When the half marathon at the Alexandria Running Festival became a championship for some race group, it caused a run on reading my race report on that race from last year.  I have to admit the idea of elite runners reading my race report to gain some sort of edge causes me to chuckle.   It does bring up a couple of points for new running bloggers out there. 1. Write race reports because they drum up interest in your blog. 2. Tag you posts to help drive traffic.  Even stupid tags like “worst running song” brings a surprising number of people to the site. 3. Having the Pig in your race reports increases reader satisfaction. #science

The Flip Side

1. Numbers are up overall (even taking into account bots like buttons for websites), but numbers for my new posts are going down.  Particularly my Friday posts have taken a nose dive in popularity.  I’m thinking about possible changes to my Friday format, or maybe only blogging twice a week.  I would hand the day over to the Pig, but I fear he would take over the entire blog.  Yes, I realize many of you are rooting for that outcome anyway.

Here are the current top 10 cities that read the blog in the last 30 days.  Maybe I should move to (Not-Set).

Keep in mind the Runner's World tour piece skews this data.

Keep in mind the Runner’s World tour piece skews this data.

So I will leave you with my Easter pic for Twitter.  For those who celebrate the holiday, have a great Easter.  You can bet the Pig and I will not be having ham for lunch.

It is a picture of me in my R2D2 Mask wearing bunny ears.

My Sunday Best

Everyone have a Pigtastic weekend!

Later,

Marsden