It's over, man. Let her go.

Gatorade/Steelers 5k

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Member Since:

Jan 04, 2010



Goal Type:

Recover From Injury

Running Accomplishments:

In late 2008 I decided I needed to get in better shape and started running again.  I ran my first formal road race ever, a half marathon, in late 2009.

(unofficial) Track 1 Mile - 7:32 (4/24/2010)  6:56 (9/27/2010)

5k - 27:31 - Riverview Run on 06/11/2010
22:39 - Gatorade Steelers 5k on 09/04/2010

10k - 50:43 - Riverside Run on 04/10/2010

Half - 2:02:58 - Just a Short Run on 03/27/2010
1:51:47 - IKEA Montour Trail Half on 09/11/2010

Short-Term Running Goals:

2011 Races:

Sept 25 - The Great Race 10k (59:15)
Nov 5 - Dirt Monster 5mi (52:59)

2012 Races:

June 8 - Riverside 5k  (27:49)
Sept 2 - Gatorade Steelers 5k (route) with Steve!  (27:39)
Sept 30 - The Great Race 10k (route)  (53:48)
Nov 3 - The Dirt Monster 5mi (52:55)

2013 Races:

May - Pittsburgh Marathon (started, but DNF about the half way point)
June - Riverview 5k  - Bummed I missed signing up for this one. It's one of my favorites!
Sept - Gatorade/Steelers 5k. (Signed up!)
Sept - IKEA Montour Trail Half  (prob not, but leaving it on here)
Sept - The Great Race 10k (My Running 101 goal race)
Nov - Dirt Monster 5mi (Gotta do it again no matter what!)

Long-Term Running Goals:

Finish recovering from my injuries and build mileage.  That is all.


My name is Wes, I'm married with two wonderful children. The nickname BaldNSpicy came from the fact that I have been balding for a (long) while now and spicy for my love of very spicy foods (Thai and extremely hot wings are my favorites).  If eating doesn't bring me near tears and leave me sweating, it's not worth eating.  :-)

Oh, and I'm also known for my doorags.

Favorite Quotes:

"Running without hills is like motorcycling without corners." - rAtTLeTrAp

"Excellence is not a singular act, but a habit.  You are what you do repeatedly." - Shaquille O'Neal

"A man can fail many times, but he isn't a failure until he begins to blame somebody else."  - John Burroughs

Favorite Blogs:

Miles:This week: 0.00 Month: 0.00 Year: 0.00
NB 758s #2 Lifetime Miles: 596.90
Brooks Cascadia 7 Lifetime Miles: 165.17
Slow milesFast milesTotal Distance
NB 758s #2 Miles: 44.70
Weight: 172.50
Race: Gatorade/Steelers 5k (3.08 Miles) 00:27:39, Place overall: 920, Place in age division: 84
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First, a shout out to my FRB buddy, Steve, his wife Courtney and their dog, Maggie, for making the 4+ hour trip to Pittsburgh to run this race with me.  It was SO fun to finally meet a fellow blogger in person after following each others blogs for quite some time now.

We met up at my wife's favorite Thai restaurant, Thai Gourmet, in the semi-sketchy area of Bloomfield.  Food was great, service was sub-par since we got the younger of the two sisters that waitress there.  But, the conversation definitely made up for that.  Steve is a man after my own heart as we both ordered spicy dishes!

We finished the evening with a trip up the Duquesne Incline and while enjoying the view from the observation desk, happened to catch the firework show from the U. of Pitt football game!

We departed and went back to get some sleep before the race in the morning.

Fortunately, our dog, Lucy has been "trained" to wake me up by 6:15am or so if I'm not already awake.  I had set my alarm for 6am but my "techie" clock allows me to set alarms for weekdays, weekends, or everyday.  I never change it from everyday, but somehow, it ended up on weekdays.  So, Lucy made sure I wasn't going to miss this race!

The whole family was planning to join us for the race, but my wife had a rough night so she stayed home.  We were planning to meet Steve & Courtney, along with Steve's co-worker, Patti, her husband, and her son, Neal by 7:30am.  We had a "date" with my recently retired Steeler buddy, Chris Hoke, about 8am for a quick photo shoot and meet-n-greet since he was one of the two Steelers that were going to be there to give a quick speech before the race.  That was fun, and everyone seemed to enjoy it.  Too bad he didn't wear one of his Super Bowl rings...those are a sight to see in person!  Here's a pic of Chris and Steve holding a quilt that was for a fundraiser for a charity (can't remember which one):


Here we are all ready to crush this course!

 Left to Right:  Steve, Courtney, Neal, Patti and me

The race was to start at 9:00am.  They did pretty good this year in getting it off on time.  Due to a course change last year, they started the 3,000 runners off in waves.  Steve, Neal and I lined up in the 20-25min wave, and Patti went to the next wave.  It didn't seem to matter since after the first sub-20 wave, everyone just kinda started moving toward the start area.  They staggered groups from there.  For the first 3/4 to 1mi, it was quite congested.  I kept Steve and Neal in sight for most of the first 1/2 but then lost them in the crowd.  I knew I wouldn't be able to keep up with them once things opened up, so I didn't worry about it.

After the turn off the trail and onto the street, around 1.4mi, it opened up and congestion wasn't an issue.  The race was great, and I ended up seeing the back of Patti for about 3/4 of a mile towards the end.  I never ended up catching her since I took two 30 sec walk breaks, and she was doing great!

I finished in a decent time and about what I expected.  Splits were (9:18, 8:53, 8:57, 0:29).  I didn't kill myself, but did try and push it once I got around people.  I got hung up behind a lady and guy who were pushing a double stroller at about the 1mi mark where I couldn't pass for a good minute or two.  Not sure why they were on the course yet since strollers were supposed to be after the runners so I was frustrated by that.  Anyways, I'm happy with my race and I'm glad to be back into doing some races.

Here's my finish photo by my daughter (I'm the one in the middle with the grey shirt and black skull & crossbones doorag):

Steve and fam came over after checking out and hung out for a while before heading home.  Our dog, Lucy, decided to be anti-social so she had less fun than the rest of us.  We gave Steve and Courtney an (extended) driving tour of Pittsburgh and shared a bunch of stories.  We talked their ears off.  Haha

We're looking forward to the next race and planning a 2013 Pittsburgh Marathon race, barring any issues between now and May 2013! 

NB 758s #2 Miles: 3.08
Weight: 174.00
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Running 101 class

Tough class today.  I'm feeling pretty good after the race on Sunday and so I went down a little early to get a little extra mileage in before class.  Hopped on the TM for 20mins and went about 2.2mi @ 1%.  Then went and stretched until the class was all there.

I thought we'd be going outside, but the instructors decided to do some TM and rowing sessions.  The "faster" group started out on the rowing machines and we did 25:00, changing pace every 3-5 mins.  I can tell I need to do a little more work on my core...

Then we switched stations with the other group and did 3 sets of 2:00 walking x 5:00 tempo pace.  My tempos, I pushed pretty hard (8:20-7:55 pace) and by the last one, I was dragging.  But, that was another 2.3mi, so I was pleased overall.

NB 758s #2 Miles: 4.50
Weight: 0.00
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No running today, but my thought for the day:

"If you allow people to make more withdrawals than deposits in your life, you will be out of balance and in the negative.  Know when to close the account."   ~ Dirigo

May be time to close the account on a person or two...

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Started out with good intentions of getting a long run in after work.  It was after work, just a (lot) later than expected (11:00pm).  Not that I really minded the late hour, but it was a long day and I was ready to just bag it.  

I got the longest run I've done in a while in, but it was 4.5mi continuous (~10:00 pace) then a mile walking (19:00), then 1.5mi running (~9:30 pace) with about .8mi walk to finish.  Wanted to do the 6mi without walking, but my feet started killing me.  I've got a nice blood blister on the end of my left 2nd toe now.  I've always had nice caluses on the end of my 2nd & 3rd toes, but for some reason tonight, that one got a little angry.  A couple days rest and he will be back and ready to roll.

NB 758s #2 Miles: 7.80
Weight: 170.50
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Beautiful sunny, cool (68F) day.  I just had to get out earlier rather than later.  Besides, some crazy people scheduled a work meeting for super early again today.  I admire these guys that get in by 6am and then leave for home right at 2:30pm.  If I was planning to work from home today, no biggie, I'd just take the call in my PJs.  But having to get down here for them stinks!

Anyways, work schedule stayed open this morning so I took an early "lunch" and went for my run.  Forgot my HRM at home, but goal was just to take it nice and slow so it was fine.  I'm shooting for 4 runs this week without going crazy on the miles, so I needed to get out today.

Ran over the river and up to "The Square."  The cool thing about the square is that it's "exactly" a mile (according to the Garmin).  Plus, there's some slight elevation to it, so you get some up and down incline so it's better than a track in that aspect.  Today, the "up" side also had a pretty stiff headwind.

Did three laps and then headed back.  Averaged about 9:40/mi for the run, but I know I was hitting 10:30 or so on the up portion.  I felt like I was crawling.  I should have warmed up some, but I took some time and stretched good at the end.  Some soreness, but overall, feeling good.

I'm going to get some cross training in tomorrow, then we'll see what class brings on Wed...  Starting out to be a fun week! 

NB 758s #2 Miles: 4.01
Weight: 0.00
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Why can't I put "Never Enough" in the Night Sleep Time box??

Anyways, good Running 101 class tonight.  Warmed up about 0.8mi on the TM before class.  The class was doing a LSD (Long Slow Distance) run.  Jogged over to PNC Park then going out the trail 15:00 and back, shooting for an even pace throughout.  I started off with the two faster ladies but they were doing about a 10:30 pace and said they were going to turn around at 10:00 so they could get on the road due to the traffic.  So I decided to just leave them.

That first 0.5 was a bit fast but then settled into about a 8:55 pace.  Went 1.64 (9:08 AP) out, turned around and ran back with a few short walk breaks thrown in there.  Finished in 30:28 (9:17 AP overall) so not too bad.

Got back to the starting point and everyone had already headed back to the gym.  I don't blame them for not waiting the extra 28 seconds for me to get there.  Haha.  Great weather and a much needed run!

NB 758s #2 Miles: 4.07
Weight: 0.00
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Running 101 class tonight.  It's a good thing I have this class to force me to get out for a run.

Headed down to the gym early and got in some warm up.  Ran a little over 2mi on the TM then about 5mins on the rowing machine. Tonight's workout was running 20mins then about 10mins of speed workout.  I was a little tired, so I didn't go too hard on the 20 min run and just stuck with the faster runners (10:00 pace or so).  Then we did 1/4mi laps around the point starting out at a reasonable pace and continually picking it up until the end.  Those went well, I was finishing at about 7:15-7:30 pace.  Some sprints across the point (100m or so) hitting a 5:40 or better pace.  Then one final lap - I pushed it and did it in 1:50.

I'm not sure I'm "ready" for the 10k in a week or so, but I think it will go OK.  Just keepin' on keepin' on. 

NB 758s #2 Miles: 4.70
Weight: 0.00
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Well, no running today, but I had to react to a "crisis" and had to bike from home to where my daughter works to pick up the car.  Darn hills!

It was only a little over 5 miles, but I swear it was practically all up hill.  I was beat.  Good thing I didn't have to bike back or it would have been all up hill too!

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Headed out around 2pm today, nice weather and broke up my work day.  With the Great Race coming up on Sunday, I figured I'd better get some miles in.  I've been a bit apprehensive about the 10k distance since my training runs haven't been much more than half that.  I know I can do it, but I don't expect it to be fast.  After the initial hill, it's kinda downhill, so who knows.

Decided to run out 15:00 then back, finishing with some laps around the point.  Turned around at 15:30, and negative split the trip back at 15:00.  Finished with a little over a mile around the point at 8:40 pace.  Felt pretty good, no major aches or pains.

NB 758s #2 Miles: 4.37
Weight: 0.00
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FINAL Running 101 Class tonight.

Got down there early tonight and got in 2mi on the TM doing the "rolling hills" going up and down 6% inclines.  Pretty tough, but took it slow at about 11:00 pace.  I was tired...

For class, there was a split of 50/50 for going outside vs. staying in when I came in the room.  The instructor asked me and I said always outside, but I'll do either.  So, we went the cold rain.  :-)  I lost a couple of friends tonight, I think.  LOL

For class, ran across the bridge and over to Mr. Rogers and back (1mi each way).  Focus was on picking it up on the inclines and coasting down the other side - and trying to negative split on the way back.  On the way out, I stuck with a couple of people but the pace was too slow.  At the turn around (10:45), I kept going and I don't know if I dropped them or they just fell back since I kept it slow but when they wouldn't catch up, I picked it up and just cruised back in 8:22.

Jogged 2 laps around the circle at the point until everyone was back.  Then we did some practice finishes since the Great Race finishes right there.  We jogged the first half of the circle, then picked it up to the "finish."  Walked a half of the circle and did it one final time.  7:20 pace is about as fast as I am on those.  A couple of guys in the class out kick me when we do those. I think they like being able to beat me on the sprints.  :-)

Stretched with the class then did another 1.15mi on the TM at 8:15-8:30 pace just to get some more mileage in.  With the walking that we do during class that I don't have the Garmin on, I definitely did my 10k distance today.  Tomorrow I'll take it pretty easy, Saturday the scouts have a campout and bike ride, then Race Day on Sunday!  Should be great!


NB 758s #2 Miles: 5.90
Weight: 173.00
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No running miles, but did do a 15 mi bike ride with the scouts for the campout this weekend.  Thursday, it down poured all day.  I was SO glad it cleared up and we had perfect weather for the campout.  This morning, we woke up to an overcast sky, but no rain.

The boys did great on the bike ride, even my son who doesn't do much biking and isn't quite as physical as the other boys, did great.  Even with the amount of biking I do, my butt was a little sore, and the quads and knees were a little drained.  I think it was from the amount of TIME we spent in the saddle.  With the exception of the first 4 miles when the boys shot out like a cannon, it was definitely a leisurely pace.

Another runner in the ward was there, he had just finished the DC Ragnar last weekend.  Not sure why I wasn't invited.  LOL  They had a great time, and got me thinking about doing it next year.  For some reason, I thought Ragnar was primarily a West thing.

Weight: 0.00
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Race: The Great Race (6.2 Miles) 00:53:48, Place overall: 2922, Place in age division: 245
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After little sleep Friday night at the campout, then biking on Saturday, and cleaning up from the campout all day, I was exhausted by 11pm when I tried to get to sleep.  Checking the weather, it was going to be a nice 50o day, but there were rain showers predicted all morning.  I had a rough night of sleep, but even with the better weather prediction when I checked at 7am, I was really wanting to just go back to bed.

I was relieved I had signed up for the 10k since the start time was 9:30am (5k started at 8am), but since it was a point-to-point course, I had to be downtown and on a shuttle before 8:45 or I'd miss it.  I knew traffic would be horrible downtown, especially trying to get out of the city with the Pirates game starting at 1pm or so.  I decided to park a couple miles away and bike to the gym at work so I had a quick exit.  Since we're the primary sponsor, they had the gym open so we could get a locker, hang out where it was warm and dry until catching a shuttle.  Such a nice benefit!

The family all wanted to come down, but with the unpredictable weather, me having to catch a shuttle and them waiting for the race to start, I told them to sleep just wasn't worth the several hours of waiting...possibly in the rain.

Shuttle took forever to get out there, then the walk to the entrances to the starting area.  With over 8,000 10k runners, it didn't surprise me, but usually I try to get to the start line a little earlier so I can at least warm up a little.  I didn't get in any warm up at all to speak of, just standing in the front 1/3 of the pack of runners hoping the rain holds off.  As I'm standing there, I realize I didn't bring my signature skull and crossbones doorag!  Bad omen or did it just mean more sweat in my eyes?!

Finally, the gun went off, and it took about 2 mins to get to the start line.  There's a slight downhill and then an uphill.  Overall, it's an aided course.  I just took the first mile easy since I was having some left lower leg muscle soreness.  Plus, it was a sea of runners and I wasn't getting around anyone too soon.

The race went well, things thinned out a little, but not a whole lot, even to the finish line.  I think my 9:00 pace is a sweet spot for the bulk of runners.  Had I been about 7:00 pace, I'm sure it would have been much more spread out.  Gorgeous running weather, low 50s, overcast...but then about the 3mi mark, it started drizzling.  I wasn't terribly hot, but it still felt good.  

The drizzle turned to a downpour within a mile.  It didn't bother me much except for the freeway on ramp that we go down that's the steepest part of the course.  I'm staying in the pack, not doing anything crazy, and the guy behind me clips my heel!  I take a couple giant steps, arms flailing to try and keep from face planting!  It must have been luck, because I was sure I was going down.  I never figured out who it was, and didn't get an apology, but I would have been trampled.

My goal was to only walk through the water stops (I can't drink and run at the same time).  I only stopped for water twice with all the congestion and walked for maybe 5-10 sec.  Even at the 5mi mark when I was really wanting to walk a little, I kept with the plan.  Goal time was 55:00 since I figured I was better prepared than last year and 9:00 pace was manageable for that distance.

After I got past that 5mi mark, I was feeling pretty good, was on the final decent, then just flat to the finish.  I was trying to push it the last 0.7mi but without being rude and pushing through the sea of runners, it just wasn't happening much.  I got in behind any person or two that looked like they'd be getting through in order to pick up a second here or there.  The final sprint is at the circle we ran all the time for Running 101 so we had "practiced" pushing that final 200m.  My training kicked in, and I was ready for it, but it narrows right there and there's no chance of getting around anyone.

I wore my Garmin and HRM, but rarely looked at it.  I knew I was doing OK, and was pacing myself well for a no-walk 10k.  The course measured long again, but trying to run tangents was impossible.  Here's the splits:  9:29, 8:32, 8:49, 8:22, 8:51, 7:47, 2:00 (.27 @ 7:24 pace)


I'm really glad I forced myself to do this race.  I would have felt bad if I hadn't done it after taking the Running 101 class and getting the free race fee.  

The biggest downer for the day is that the Pirates lost so we extend our losing season streak to 20...but we still have the record for the longest streak of losing seasons for all US professional sports!  Yippee!  :-(

NB 758s #2 Miles: 6.27
Weight: 172.50
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NB 758s #2 Miles: 44.70
Weight: 172.50
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