A family tradition: A Run Oregon recap of the 2015 Keizer Turkey Dash


-Photo via stephilogan5 on Instagram

My Thanksgiving schedule always follows the same general outline:

  • 1pm –  Thanksgiving Dinner at Grandparents
  • 230pm – Feeling sick
  • 3pm – Selection of names for Christmas gift-exchange
  • 4pm – Nap
  • 7pm – Leftovers dinner at In-Laws
  • 830pm – Gingerbread decorating contest
  • 1030pm – Out

Over the past few years, one tradition that has been added to this already full day is our annual participation in the Keizer Turkey Dash each Thanksgiving morning. And it seems as if more and more Oregonians are doing the same, as this year saw almost 900 participants tackle the 5k race. Continue reading

My first running injury!

I had an interesting day when I suffered my first real running injury, back in 2007. The year prior, I’d been thinking about trying the Timberline Marathon, and I decided to go for it that year. It was fun to see the looks on a couple friend’s faces when they spied me on the shuttle bus before the start. Runners started one at a time to avoid congestion on the trail, and I felt great on the first five downhill miles, then the “slight” uphill after crossing HWY 35 hit me like a ton of bricks and I slowed way, WAY down (I even walked a little). But I kept making up for it on the downhills, and passed the guy who started first about 28 minutes in.

I think I was leading at that point unless someone who started after me was gaining on me, which is highly possible. I thought the worst that was going to happen was when my ZipLock bag split open and my Clif Shot Bloks fell in the dirt around mile 10. By the time I stopped to gather them up and brush off the fir needles, the guy who started first was right back on my heels.

Anyway, I was heading downhill on a very rocky, dusty section I estimated at somewhere between 12 and 13 miles, and I didn’t think I was going too fast when “it” happened. I was wearing my more cushioned and heavier trainers instead of my usual light racing flats, and I was getting pretty tired at that point too, so, as is often the case, I wasn’t lifting my feet as high and my left foot caught a rock and I did an unintentional Pete Rose head first slide down the trail with thick dust flying everywhere. (If Joe Dudman falls in the forest and there’s no one around, yes he does make a sound!)

I slid for quite a way on my left shoulder and left cheek bone, and I still can’t believe they missed all the rocks, so no serious damage there. My hands hurt, but they too were OK. I spit dirt out of my mouth. Then I looked down at my right knee and there was a nice hole with something white visible and moving underneath when I flexed it. Somehow, I kept from hurling my Shot Bloks! I quickly poured water from my water bottle on the gash to rinse it off. Luckily the hole was quickly obscured by blood which proceeded to run down my shin into my brand new SmartWool sock and shoe. It was actually a pretty epic wipe out, and I kind of wish it had been captured on video!

I got up and walked/jogged for the next few miles, comtemplating bagging it at the next aid station, but when I got there I kind of automatically kept going, and there were times from then on when I kept moving for quite a while at a pretty consistent, though not very fast pace (and plenty of times when I walked/jogged some more). The knee really didn’t hurt much, but it tightened up a lot whenever I stopped. I was very surprised so few people caught up with me, but I did get a head start, and before the injury I was taking good advantage of the downhills. It was perversely fun to pass spectators with my big red knee and rivers of blood running down my leg. I had to keep running then!

I was also covered head to foot with dark brown dust. I’m sure I looked like Pig Pen, if he’d taken up figure skating and gotten whacked by Tonya Harding’s goons. Another friend, sidelined by a stress fracture, cheered me in at the finish, and immediately helped with support and advice. An EMT bandaged my knee, and he and my friend strongly urged me to get to the hospital as soon as possible, so before I could even cheer in my other running friends or clean up, I made the 90 minute drive to Kaiser Sunnyside. The knee was stiff, but not really that painful; still, driving was interesting.

I wish I’d been able to get a picture of the knee. After the race, one runner took a photo of the knee with blood soaking through the bandage for his girlfriend, so it must have been quite a sight! I later heard that some runners suffered multiple bee stings along the course. I never even saw a bee, so in that respect I consider myself lucky. All I was left with was a pretty impressive scar and this story.

On the wall of the waiting room at Kaiser was a sculpture of Mt. Hood complete with trees and a river, which I found amusing. They cleaned and bandaged my wound, and sent me to X-ray to see if there were any breaks or gravel in the wound. No gravel, but they did find a small crack near the top of the patella, but with no displacement. So after they stitched up the gash, they gave me a knee immobilizer and a set of crutches for the break. I had to take the immobilizer off and bend my knee to drive home. It took me ten minutes to get into the car, and that drive was even more interesting!

A few days later, I had a follow-up appointment with orthopedics, and the doctors told me that if I was able to test it by running 13 miles on it, the fracture would probably not get worse, and I wouldn’t need a knee brace. The cut and especially the break just needed time to heal, so I took some time off from running for 6 to 8 weeks, missing the Best Dam Run and the Bigfoot 10ks the following weekend, and the Royal Victoria Half Marathon the following month. I wasn’t really upset about missing races; I run so many that I can afford to skip a few without getting too discouraged. In the long run (no pun intended), a vacation from running was probably be good for me physically and mentally. It was fun to watch some races from the sidelines for a change.

Sure, it wasn’t the best thing that could have happened, but it was also far from the worst. It was my first real running injury, and I decided I was really OK with it. I’ve always been extremely lucky when it comes to running, and I’d never broken a bone before either, so I was way past due.

Now I’m going to go find a wooden table on which to rap my knuckles …

Race Preview: 2015 NaughtyorNiceathon

The last Uberthons race of the year is coming up soon on December 12. It’s a new 5K race, called the Naughty or Niceathon, which will take place on a new race course that starts and finishes at the Big Al’s in Beaverton.

The published route winds through the local neighborhood around Big Al’s and should be relatively flat. There’s one water/aid station at the halfway mark. After finishing the race, runners will get to chow down at a pancake bar!

Pre-race packet pick-up will be at Big Al’s two days beforehand, and while there, paid registrants get a free game of bowling (and shoe rental!), and the chance to take a spin on the Big Al’s prize wheel (you have to bowl a strike when a red or blue pin shows up on the #1 spot in a frame).

In keeping with the Naughty or Nice theme, you can sign up for either side when you register. Perhaps if you got a traffic ticket this year, you should be on the Naughty side. Or if you donated to a charity or volunteered at one, you should be on the Nice side. Let’s see if Nice guys/gals finish first…. Continue reading

Small Race Preview: Oakland High School Reindeer Run 5K

The OHE Reindeer Run in Oakland, Oregon, is a fundraising road race at 9 am on December 5, with proceeds going to the Oakland High School track and cross-country teams. There are 5K and 1 mile options for $20, which includes a race shirt (subject to availability; only 30 were ordered). There’s no link to a course map, but the organizers have said that it’s a challenging but fun course.

OHS Reindeer Run

When: December 5, 2015, at 9 a.m.

Where: Oakland High School, 521 NE Spruce St, Oakland, OR 97462

Register: Download registration form here, or day of race starting at 8 a.m., $20 for 5K or 1 mile.


Kickstarter of the Week: Roadnoise Vest

Product: Roadnoise Vest
Location: Lake Oswego, OR
Kickstarter End Date: December 20, 2015
Current Pledge: $4,475 of $15,000
Website: http://www.roadnoise.com/

If you were reading our blog and/or following us on Instagram in the weeks leading up to the 2015 Hood to Coast, you probably saw us toting a great product – Roadnoise vests. Here is a little snippet from our posts:

So what is RoadNoise? Well, it’s a reflective vest with speakers built into the shoulders. The speakers are right below your ears, and the sound is positioned upwards, with sound loud enough to play your music without being overpowering, and allows you to hear ambient noise around you. You can remove the speakers for easy washing after a sweaty run (race, relay, etc) and it comes in a few colors to almost appease us who like to color-coordinate.

What the website says: “RoadNoise vests give you the ability to hear your footsteps, your breathing, and your surroundings along with your favorite music. There are no dangling cords while you run. Just plug-in your device and you’re off running.” This vest accommodates IPods or your Android smartphone.

Roadnoise is currently doing a Kickstarter to keep the great things about their vests, but move forward with some new changes. The new vest has been completely redesigned for better fit, comfort, sound and multi-use. It’s been tested fully loaded during runs up to marathon distance in both hot and cool weather.

If there was one thing that was lacking in previous versions of the vest, it would be a lack of versatility. While there were a few options, it was necessary to have other gear if you wanted to carry things. The new Roadnoise vest seeks to desire to provide enough options to have this be a complete running vest, instead of just one for night runs. Some detailed updates from their campaign:

  • There’s a vertical pocket on each side of the main pocket giving you the option of carrying two 250 ml/8 oz. SoftFlask bottles, a dog leash or any other small accessory.

  • Two smaller pockets to hold nutrition bars, gels or blinking lights.

  • There’s a bungie adjustment cord that adjusts the vest to your body with just a slight pull. It also secures items you might carry in back.

  • One large pocket that holds a light jacket, hat or if you’re out for a long outing, a 1-liter hydration reservoir. It includes loops at the shoulders for a hydration tube.

  • Two smaller pockets for extra nutrition, first aid or rear blinking lights.

  • A removable drop-down “tube” pocket that hangs below the rear of the vest with a large reflective patch. It’s great for cycling or anytime extra visibility is needed. It can hold lightweight items like gloves or an extra shirt.

Pledging $49 will land you this vest in April 2016.

Things To Avoid Stepping On/In When Running

-Photo via The Valiens

I’m pretty good about watching where I step during a run.  I keep an eye on the ground a few feet in front of me and place my feet carefully to avoid uneven ground or bumpy objects.  But every once in awhile I step on something I wish I hadn’t (or, on extremely rare occasions, trip over something, but that’s a different post).

Here, in reverse order, is my Top Ten List of Things I Try To Avoid Stepping On Or In While Running:

Continue reading

EXTRA Kickstarter of the Week: Bamboxers


From food to flooring to even construction material, bamboo is the new (new?!) hotness. They are the fastest-growing plants in the world (3 feet in a 24 hour period!), have a higher compressive strength than wood, brick, or concrete, AND posess a tensile strength that rivals steel (link). And even with all of those properties, it actually makes a very solid pair of underwear – thanks to Bamboxers.

I first read up on Bamboxers via Kickstarter. The campaign expires on Friday, December 4, 2015 and will be funded. Kickstarter orders are only for $10/pair, a far cry from the $20+ that most (albeit great) underwear campaigns started their amounts at. From their campaign: Continue reading