Weekly update: $37,419 and 24 races!

Well, that’s two dozen races in the books. Getting very close to half way! And that’s a $200 bump up from last week! Every little bit of progress counts.

Weekly stats: 72% of the way to our fundraising goal, and 46% of the way to our running goal

Relaxing in the bleachers before the race

What’s happened this week?

An excellent question, as always! Well, my good friend and colleague Vijay Raman donated $200 to the cause. Thanks Vijay! These eBay folks are pretty special — it’s great to have so many current and former employees generously support the cause.

I also had the great privilege of meeting Lisa Butler from the GBS/CIDP Foundation in person for lunch in Los Angeles. It was great to hear in person how much the Foundation cares  about this fundraiser and each of your contributions. Thank you to each of you again. And thank you Lisa for meeting us!

On the racing front, there’s one more race in the books. The pretty lame Firefly 5k was run and done. Read my jaded-sounding race report here.

Next week, I plan to be back running with Brazen Racing. Expect a more glowing report then!

Race #24: Firefly Run 5k

We dragged ourselves off a plane from LA on Saturday morning after a few long days. The idea of waking up Sunday and racing a 10k trail race with elevation wasn’t too appealing. So, I set about looking for something a little easier for this weekend. And, as luck would have it, I found the Firefly 5k starting Saturday night at 7:30pm.

Relaxing in the bleachers before the race
Relaxing in the bleachers before the race

Novelty races are supposed to be fun for the kids. In this case, the gimmick is flashing lights and neon glow sticks, and a start and finish in the mighty San Jose State Spartans football stadium. The video looks good from the website:

In reality, it was a pretty lame experience. We started at 7:45pm: still bright daylight and sunglasses weather. We ran on pavement (what Australians call asphault) for 3.1 miles or 5ks, and finished in the sunshine in the stadium. So much for the lights and neon glow.

The race itself was 1.6 miles out and 1.6 miles back with a little “dogleg” to make it a little more depressing. Hot, hard, flat, and roads. Maybe I just needed to lighten up a bit (pun intended) — and walk or something. Anyway, I thought it was lame. Net result, Selina was I think the 3rd woman over the line and I was top 10, but it wasn’t designed to be a competitive race. The time was somewhere in the low 23s.

Anyway, that’s race #24 in the books, and another weekend to plan. I’m still about 5 races behind plan, but that just means 5 weekends with two races any time in the next 5 months. That feels ok. The trick is to stay healthy and not to miss any more weekends.

Race #23: Lighting the Way 5k

Hi! Hello! Yes, I am still running. Yes, I know it’s been a slow couple of months. But, hey, I have run 23 races this year, and that’s more than most people — though I do know a couple of people from around here who are on track to 80+ races. Crazy.

Getting ready to start. Nice new shirt from 2XU!
Getting ready to start. Nice new shirt from 2XU!

Anyway, today we ran the Lighting the Way 5k.  My time wasn’t great, about 23:08 (they didn’t have a timing chip), but it sure felt great to be out there racing and to pull up without pain and swelling in my left foot. I’ve got a bit of an ankle and Achilles niggle, and I’ve been managing it carefully — so carefully that I dropped out of the 10k trail run I’d planned last week.

This was the 5th annual Lighting the Way 5k. It’s a great little race with a fairly small field (though it was sold out!), and it’s the most sensible race I’ve run at Vasona Lake. This time, we just started near the railroad, and ran out 1.6 miles to Lark Ave, and turned around and ran back. Sensible. Much better than all the ducking, weaving, and getting lost that other races do in Vasona Lake (scroll down in this story and you can read about it).

It was a well-organized race, and not too competitive. I suspect most of the folks weren’t serious, and maybe there was more competition in the 10k. I came 4th. Selina was the 2nd woman. If you can do that in 23+ minutes, you know it ain’t too serious.

Anyway, great to be back. If I wake up feeling great, who knows I might run another race tomorrow. Might see you then, or next week at the latest!

Weekly update: 23 races and $37,219 raised!

I hope you’re having a great weekend. It’s now the 18th of July, and we’re a little over two weeks into the second half of the year. The great news is we’ve now raised $37,219 for the GBS/CIDP Foundation, and the bad news is I’ve only run 23 of my 52 races.

Weekly stats: 72% of the way to our fundraising goal, and 44% of the way to our running goal.

What’s happened this week?

Well, there’s been some generous donations! Jake Villarreal from Match Relevant was very generous in donating $250. My old school buddy Alister Foley donated $100. And a mystery donor (I know who you are, and I think you’re awesome!) donated $1,000. Great week, but still a long way to go to reach our goal of $52,000 this year.
On the running, the good news is I’ve finally put Race #23 behind me. I’ve been having all sorts of left leg issues, which are a mixture of ankle and Achilles problems. Since I’m wise enough to know that discretion is the better part of valor, I bailed on last week’s 10k trail race and took another week of rest. It’s done wonders, and today’s race was fine. My race report will be up soon at http://fiftytwofives.com
See you next time!

Weekly update: 22 races, nearly $37,000!

It’s the Fourth of July weekend. Happy Independence Day to everyone here in the USA! And this weekend also marks the half way mark of our charity fundraiser and awareness-raiser for the GBS/CIDP Foundation.

I’ve run only 22 races, which puts me 4 races behind the pace. Time to get moving! But the fundraising is going well — $35,869 raised out of our goal of $52,000. While that sounds impressive, it’s getting harder and harder to keep the fundraising moving — so please pass on the word to your friends, and encourage them to contribute too!

Weekly stats: 69% complete on the fundraising goal, and 42% complete on the running goal.

What’s happened this week?

Please thank my good friends at Riviera Partners, particularly Ali Benham, for their generous donation to the fundraiser. If you’re looking for a tech recruiting firm, especially for engineering roles, then these guys are great — and fantastic corporate citizens too.

Please also thank Valerie Nygaard for coming back and donating a second time! Wow.

We ran one race this week, the Morgan Hill Freedom Fest 5k.

Race #22: Morgan Hill Freedom Fest 5k

Some days, you realize just how much of a Regular Joe you are. I ran the Morgan Hill Freedom Fest 5k this morning, and got absolutely crushed by some of the Bay Area’s elite 5k runners. The male winner won in 14:42, and the female winner in 16:40.

The current men’s world record is 12:37. That’s two minutes faster than today’s winner, though he would have been the world record holder if he’d run 14:42 in around the year 1910. But whatever: 14:42 is seriously fast — 4:44 per mile, and that’s the average over 3.1 miles. I can only dream.

I’ve had a goal in my head for years of running under 20:00. I’d be happy to just run 19:59 once in my life. I know that when I was about 28 years old, I ran 3.1 kilometers in about 12:35 once or twice. If you do the math, that’s about 19:30 for a 5km if I could have kept the pace up over a 5km race. I just never quite got around to trying that pace in a race. And now I’m 45 years old.

The site of my fastest times ever. Princes Park in Melbourne, Australia, circa 2007. I've run this counter-clockwise maybe 1,500 times, and clockwise exactly 0.
The site of my fastest times ever. Princes Park in Melbourne, Australia, circa 2007. I’ve run this counter-clockwise maybe 1,500 times, and clockwise exactly 0.

My best time this year is 21:06, if you don’t count the Double 5k that I ran in 20:15. The Double 5k is broken down into a 3km race, a one hour rest, and a 2k race, so it doesn’t really count. A time of 21:06 is a long way off 20:00. If I want to get there, it’s probably time to drop a few pounds, train three or four times a week, and get serious. What do you think?

Anyway, I digress. The race this morning was flat, fast for everyone else, and a great temperature. I’ve been having ankle troubles, and I think I was just a little “off” physically this morning too. The bottom line was a pretty average time of 22:56. I was annoyed at myself, but I guess I should be happy to have run race #22 this year and got out and run on a beautiful July 4 day! Happy 4th to all of you here in the USA.

See you next time — I’ll be running a 10k trail race next week that looks *gorgeous*.