Monday, April 20, 2009

26.2 The Hard Way

Today is Patriots Day. A made up holiday for people in Boston. Everyone in Beantown has the day off. The Redsox play at 11am. And of course, the city shuts down for The Marathon.

I've gone to the Boston Marathon the last 3 years. It is one of the best running events of the year. This year I stayed home and ran 26.2 miles - in 3 runs.

I know I've committed myself to the mile this year. Any day now (don't hold your breath) I'm going to start my training with Julie and the American University crowd for shorter distance races. I'm going to do a mile time trial on Thursday to see what type of mile time I can run, but today was all about the marathon.

Run number 1:

Ran with Robbie (my manager in Arlington) - the Rockcreek recovery loop, we call it. We meet at the spot in Rosslyn at 7:30. Robbie and I used to meet at least 3 days a week. This year we've meet for the 7:30 run maybe 3 times all year.

It was raining cats and dogs, so the fact that even ran was a huge win for me. I was soaked by the end of the run. I felt like a real runner again.

8.9 miles

Run number 2:

Ran with Cakes (from the Junkies) - we did a 10 mile loop through Fairfax from the Pacers Fairfax store. It was still pouring. The fact that Cakes even ran was impressive. He is running the Pacers Running Festival on May 10. I was fortunately able to convince him to run, even in the rain by scaring him to thinking he would be really under prepared if he didn't get in a long run today. We finished by running by the Potbellys restaurant in Fairfax where the WJFK program director was eating lunch. The guys from the station don't really embrace running (yet!), and destroy Cakes for running at all - running in the rain is unthinkable. CK, the Program Director bolted out of the restaurant in disbelief and snapped a quick photo on his phone. (picture above with Cakes and his hands up, with me in the background). He was so horrified by the photo he put it up on

The run ended up being 10.2 miles

Run number 3:

From one radio talk show host to another. Ran with Oscar from the Big O and Dukes show. Oscar is also training for the half marathon. He hasn't been running as much as Cakes, BUT today we had a big breakthrough.
Oscar has been working a lot for his show. One appearance after another and a 2nd weekend show keeps him pretty busy. One amazing thing about both these radio guys is how much energy they have to give on their shows. Try talking for 4 hours straight. Then try talking AND be entertaining while you talk for 4 hours. Pretty exhausting.
But today after our trail run through DC, Oscar used statements like "I felt like I was in a commercial", and words like "Prefontaine". Maybe it was the endorphins talking, but "Prefontaine?" I didn't even know he knew who that guy was.

7.1 miles - I made him run until my Garmin was right on the money.
26.2 miles, all in the rain. Take that Boston.
x Farley

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Get busy living or get busy dying

I truly believe in what we're selling at Pacers. A lifestyle. No kidding, we are selling a healthy lifestyle.

There is no way we would be in business if we were just selling people shoes and sending them on there way. I don't think we'd pay the rent. So our solution: fit our customers in the right equipment, offer them programs to teach them how to run, and engage them in events. And do we ever engage our customers in events.

So, today's post on my blog will be an advertisement for our events that we are doing this WEEKEND alone. I figure the more cool events we do, the more engaged our customers will be, the more running they'll do. Running = living.
Tomorrow "Fun run with Brooks and WJFK". Cakes from The Junkies and Oscar from the Big O and Dukes show are doing our fun run at the Arlington Pacers Store. They are training for the Pacers Running Festival. These guys are all in with running - it has been an amazing transformation. Brooks is giving away shirts (above: logo of the shirt) to all the runners who show up and participate. Pacers will be buying all the runners a beer at Mr. Days (I never said I was such a square runner that I didn't like to have a couple pops like the next guy).

Friday "Crystal City 5K" - Every Friday in April and the first Friday in May Pacers and the 'Crystal City Bid' host a 5k in downtown Crystal City, Arlington, VA. These are scored and timed races that have attracted 400 people per race. We are expecting 500-600 this Friday. The weather should be money this weekend, and after you had such a good time at the Thursday fun run, why not do it again and run with us Friday in Crystal City.

If you still think you can run a better 5K, take Saturday off, then join us Sunday April 19th for the Silver Spring Earth Day 5k. It should be a PR course. Sign up and you'll receive free Feetures! socks and a organic cotton tee shirt for your effort. Downtown Silver Spring is a great area to shop and hang out. I believe in a couple years this is going to be a can't miss race of the year.

And one other thing: we've got packet pickup starting on Saturday for the GW Parkway Classic 10 miler . That packet pickup will rotate throughout all the different stores next week.

Did I mention I was coaching and training those Radio DJs to run the Pacers Running Festival? Those 2 races combined will have over 10,000 runners.

Get busy living or get busy dying, I guess. I think that was in Shawshank Redemption, I like that movie.
Tuesdays run: 8.5 miles in 60 minutes with Brian

Wednesdays run: 10 miles on the treadmill with Oscar.

x Farley

Monday, April 13, 2009

Do I run like a girl? I hope.

I think Julie Culley (picture right) challenged me today. I'm not sure, but I think she may have.
We were talking about running and she asked how my running was going. I told her that I was doing fine, running a lot of miles, but nothing really structured. At this point in my running career, I am really punting. Ray Guy, Sean Landeta, Steve Cox, Jeff Feagles, and Reggie Roby. All great former NFL punters.
Julie on the other hand is in the prime of her running career. She just came back from Amman, Jordan where she finished 21st in the world in the World Cross Country championships. 21st in the entire world! Julie is not punting.
She can run close to a 4:30 mile. I used to be able to run that. I wonder if I could get back to that type of shape? Maybe a better question is: why would I want to do something like that in the twilight of my running career? Getting to a 4:30 mile would be a lot of pain and hard work and by no means is there any guarantee that I could come close to running that. What am I doing?
Julie works in our store in Arlington part time. She is a full time runner, and a part time retail expert at the Clarendon Pacers. We are lucky to have her there for almost 30 hours a week. While I was there today she asked about my running, I immediately changed the topic to NFL punters. Then she said she needed a training partner. I took it as a challenge.
Am I grasping? Yes. But to be honest, it was just what I needed.
9 miles today.
Solo run to Alexandria from home.
x Chris Farley, miler

Monday, March 9, 2009

Junk Miles

So I am officially a professional radio DJ coach. Today I ran with both Cakes (from the Junkies) and Oscar (from the Big O and Dukes show). Cakes ran the longest run of his life; 9 miles. Oscar ran what may have been the longest run of his life in the past 10 years; 4 miles. Add in the 8 miles I ran this morning and I have a total of 21 miles.

(To the right we have a pile of Junk and Miles Davis. Junk Miles)

Granted, the miles with the boys are slower than I'm used to running, but at this point in my running career, I'll take it! Cakes' run was supposed to be 8 miles, but he soldered through and really impressed me running 9 miles in an hour and 21 minutes. Oscar was also very impressive, 4 miles in just over 43 minutes. For beginning runners I'm thrilled and still always inspired when I run with them. They are both training for the Pacers Running Festival. Two months ago running was the furthest thing from their minds, but that was before I got them hooked on the running thing. Its addictive and now they're both all in. A couple of sedentary radio DJ's turned fitness studs. I might write a book... or maybe I'll just blog about it.

The rest of last week was good running too 13 miles in 2 runs on Friday, 10.5 on Saturday, and a great 8 miler with my Alexandria manager Steve Crane and other HS employee Spencer Beasley. So it was 75 miles last week, probably 30% junk, but like I said before, I'll take it.

21 miles total today.
8 miles in 62 minutes solo
9 miles in 1:21 with Cakes
4 miles in 43 minutes with Oscar

x Farley

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Serve, Protect, and Road Races

The other day I got a parking ticket when I arrived 2 minutes after my meter had expired. Literally 2 minutes, I had it on my watch. I took the ticket ripped it in half and stuck it on the meter maids car when she refused to cut me any slack. Pretty mature I am. Good thing I didn't make more of a scene. Sometimes my emotions get the best of me.

Well today we had a different experience with the Police. Kathy and I (mostly Kathy, I was just along for the ride) had a meeting with an Arlington Police officer and a Pentagon Police officer. We were finalizing the course details for our Pacers Running Festival Half Marathon.
It is great to live in Arlington County where they value special events and work with the local business. Lieutenant Medairos (picture above on the left) runs the special events in Arlington, so we see him a decent amount. Unlike the parking attendant, he is really fair, flexible, and wants to promote special events and health. Refreshing change. Both Medarios and John from the Pentagon came with solutions and not just obstacles. Solutions. That's what I'm talking about.

I ran twice yesterday. Once today. A 7 mile run and a 6 mile run yesterday. An 8 miler today. Maybe I can get back in decent shape. Maybe.

13 miles yesterday with Pearce and John Dooris

6 miles today with Brian McGovern

x Farley

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

The course is set

Kathy has been working on this half marathon in Arlington for really 2 years now. The race date is set for Sunday May 10th, Mothers Day. It is going to be an amazing event, even in it's first year.

We used to do a 10K in Arlington in May, but decided to change it to the Pacers Running Festival (which includes a half marathon, a 5K, and a kids dash). The half marathon distance is the fastest growing race distance in the county. There are a few half marathons during the spring, but a lot of people living in DC or Northern VA who run them have to travel a long way. Not for this race.

We just finalized the course (above). All in Arlington, all pretty flat, all pretty fast. It is going to be a party afterwards and even a Mother's Day brunch. That's whats up. I'll see you in May.
Two runs today.
7.1 miles with Cakes in 1:06.
7.25 miles solo in 56:00
14.35 miles total.
Another glass half full day for me.
x Farley

Monday, March 2, 2009

Being Resourceful

I was ready for it to be Spring. March is here and I was excited.

Then we got 8 inches of snow this morning? What? I mean we barley get any snow this entire Winter, then eight inches on March 2nd? Not what I’d hoped for.

I guess I actually do like snow, but now that I’m back running a little bit, I’d like to be able to get out without slipping all around and busting up my achilles again. And I’m certainly not going to use the treadmill. So when I got up and it was snowing still at 8am, I wasn’t too psyched.

Fortunately, we live close to Georgetown and the Whitehurst Freeway (above is a picture of the Freeway above Georgetown - below is the picture under the bridge). The Whitehurst runs into DC right off the Key Bridge from Arlington. Underneath the Whitehurst is a stretch of about a half mile where the bridge covers the road (K Street), and there isn’t much traffic. It has some cars parked underneath the bridge, but other than that it is the best covered stretch of running in all of DC/Northern VA.

Kathy and I ran the mile from our apartment down to the outdoor shelter of the bridge and ran for a little over an hour (10 and a half back and fourths!). It is great to be healthy and running again. When you’re training - I mean REALLY training; even a blizzard can’t stop you. Now I’m not going to claim I’m training just yet, but at least the blizzard lost today.

It was another great day to be a runner.

8 miles in 70 minutes.

x Farley