About Rob

When not running the trails of the Las Vegas valley, I work full-time as a User Experience Engineer for The Active Network. I tend to go full kamikaze running downhill sections as fast as I can, and aspire to run at least a 50-mile ultra and compete in World's Toughest Mudder in my lifetime.

Author Archive | Rob

Looking Towards 2013

Looking Towards 2013

With 2012 now in our rearview mirror and all the new experiences it gave us, we want to do a quick look back at what we achieved and set some goals to reach for in 2013.

In the past year, we’ve formed Crazier Than Thou, competed in our first ever Tough Mudder—and then a 2nd one too!—, Ryan finally ran his first half marathon (despite having run more than that distance in training runs before), Scott ran his first race longer than a half marathon (not sure why we don’t have a race report on it), and most importantly, we gave up our lives as street runners and took up a passion for the trails.

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By on January 1, 2013 in General

2012 Hoover Dam Half Marathon

Race Name: Hoover Dam Marathon, Half Marathon, & 10K

Date: December 15, 2012

Distance: Half Marathon

Footwear: Altra Superior (Rob), Vibram Spyridon (Ryan), Brooks Pure Grit (Scott)

Time: 2:00:14 (Rob), 2:10:20 (Ryan), 2:17:16 (Scott)

2012 Hoover Dam Half Marathon

 

With this being Ryan’s first official half marathon, and a return to the course that holds my half marathon PR, we had high expectations for this race all year. After running a 1:56 last year, I wanted to better my time — and hopefully beat Dalyn’s PR of 1:53 set at Surf City in 2011. Ryan and I decided that 1:50 was our goal, while Scott just wanted to finish as he was still nursing some injuries from the past couple months.

In truth, none of us were 100% healthy coming into the race, which made our goal time pretty out of reach from the start, but it’s good to have goals all the same. Since running the Bootlegger 25K a month ago, I’ve only ran on Saturdays, skipping the important mid-week runs while waiting for my bruised right foot to heal (it almost has), while Ryan has had knee issues after playing six soccer games in a row a couple weeks back.

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By on December 19, 2012 in Race Reports

S.A.F.E. House Run For Shelter 5K

Race Name: 4th Annual S.A.F.E. House Run For Shelter 5K

Date: November 17, 2012

Distance: 5K

Footwear: Vibram Bikila (Ryan), Altra Samson (Rob)

Time: 20:51 (Ryan), 21:48 (Rob)

With Ryan having lived in Henderson, NV for most of his life and myself spending six years there, whenever a 5K takes place in the Water Street district of downtown Henderson, we try to make sure at least one of us runs it. Four years ago, Ryan took part in the first ever running of the S.A.F.E. House Run For Shelter 5K with a 24:02, placing 2nd in his age group and 13th overall. The following year, Ryan, Dalyn, and I all ran the race, with Dalyn and Ryan both winning their age groups with a 23:32 (7th overall) and 24:51 (11th overall) respectively, and myself taking second in my age group with a 25:47 (14th overall). Last year, I was the only one that participated, finishing with a 23:07, 1st place age division, and 8th overall.

For this year’s race, Ryan and I both had lofty goals coming into the race, with Ryan shooting for a sub-20:00 and myself aiming for a sub-22:00. Our time goals were completely off the cuff, and we didn’t really do any 5K-specific training, but thought we had good shots at meeting our goals.

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By on November 27, 2012 in Race Reports

Bootlegger 25K

Race Name: Bootlegger 25K/50K

Date: November 10, 2012

Distance: 25K

FootwearAltra Superior

Time: 3:01:36

Bootleg Canyon has become one of the places that we really enjoy running in the Las Vegas valley, so when I heard about the Bootlegger 25K/50K I decided it was a must-do for me. I always enjoy getting out and meeting new trail runners from the Las Vegas area, and what better place is there to do so than at one of the several trail races we get here annually.

Only in its second year, with this year being the first time a 25K distance has been offered, the Bootlegger 50K should quickly gain in popularity considering the challenge it provides and the two race directors, Ian Torrence and Josh Brimhall, both being well-known ultra runners. Bootlegger picks up where the World of Hurt 50K left off after disappearing for reasons unbeknownst to me after the 2008 race. Both Josh and Ian raced in the World of Hurt, along with ultra-legends such as Hal Koerner, Scott Jurek, and Jenn Shelton.

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By on November 12, 2012 in Race Reports

Warrior Dash Las Vegas 2012

Race Name: Warrior Dash Las Vegas

Date: October 20, 2012

Team Members: Rob, Ryan, Scott, Taylor, Nickee, Dustin

Footwear: Vibram Spyridon LS (Rob), Vibram Spyridon (Ryan), New Balance MT-101 (Scott)

After scheduling Tough Mudder for October 6, a mere two weeks before Warrior Dash, it certainly wasn’t on our radar of events that we’d be doing. We’re also obstacle race fiends and always appreciate a good deal, so when a Groupon popped up in our inboxes, we jumped on it!

After Tough Mudder two weeks ago, we really toned down our training and relaxed for a couple weeks, but we knew there was almost nothing we could do (short of breaking a limb) in just two weeks that would make Warrior Dash hard after completing Tough Mudder. That being said, we still expected to have a good time and we weren’t disappointed!

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By on October 24, 2012 in Race Reports

Gear Review: Garmin Forerunner 910XT

Brand: Garmin

Model: Forerunner 910XT

My first tool I used to track my running was the Adidas miCoach app on my iPhone. While I really liked the customizable training plans and ease-of-use the application offered, having a smartphone attached to my arm during runs wasn’t really my idea of a good time. After deciding that I wanted a GPS-enabled watch for running, I settled on the Garmin Forefunner 405CX about 1 1/2 years ago with mixed results. With a new project Ryan and I are working on in regards to trail running (more on this later, I promise), I made the decision that I needed something more accurate than the haphazard elevation charts that watches relying solely on GPS based elevation provided. Longer battery life was something I was looking forward to as well, as I have a bad habit of not always charging my watches when I should.

After some research, I decided on the Garmin Forerunner 910XT, a recently released watch marketed towards triathletes and ultramarathoners. While I could care less about every competing in a triathlon, the advertised 20-hour battery life piqued my interest due to my aforementioned habit of not charging my watches, but also because I plan on becoming an ultramarathoner in the not-too-distant future. There was also the added bonus of the watch being waterproof (for tracking the swimming legs of a triathlon), meaning I could wear the watch during Tough Mudder, giving me the ability to track the distance and elevation change of the courses we run. Oh, and did I mention it uses a built-in barometric altimeter to track elevation during the run?

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By on September 17, 2012 in Gear Reviews

Shoe Review: Altra Lone Peak

Brand: Altra Zero Drop Footwear

Model: Lone Peak

Weight: 9.9 oz

Drop: 0mm

Stack Height: 22.5mm/22.5mm (with removable footbed), 17.5mm/17.5mm (without removable footbed)

Back in January of 2011 when I was looking for shoe options to replace my Nike Frees that had ripped open along the inside of the shoe, I stumbled across the Altra Running website and learned about their upcoming Instinct/Intuition and Lone Peak lines and immediately decided I wanted to try at least the Instinct to use for road running, which was pretty much all I did at that time. Unfortunately, the Instinct wouldn’t be released until a couple months later than I needed the shoes by, so I had to let that opportunity pass, but made a mental note to come back to Altra when I needed more shoes. Through the next few months I always dropped by the Altra booth if they were at the expo of the race I was running so I could try on the various shoes and talk to the reps. At the Chicago Marathon I saw the Lone Peak for the first time and knew that I had found the first pair of trail running shoes I would purchase.

Fast forward to late December of 2012 and I finally became a member of the Altra community with the purchase of my first pair of Lone Peaks. Unfortunately, right after purchasing them I came down with a respiratory illness that kept me out of running for about a month, and then I started on the beginnings of a 50K training program which prevented me from running trails. I did get to run in them here and there though, and my initial impressions were that they were much better for trails than my Inov-8 f-lite 195s I had used occasionally, and better than my Merrell Trail Gloves as well. The only downside I noticed at first was the additional weight of the shoe over the seven ounce weights of my normal running shoes.

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By on August 12, 2012 in Gear Reviews

Trail Review: El Moro Canyon, Crystal Cove State Park, CA

Trails: 16 named trails

Miles of Trails: Around 17 miles total

Cost: $15 for an All Day Parking Pass

Website: http://www.crystalcovestatepark.com

It’s a tradition in my wife’s family that we go to Newport Beach, CA for a week each summer, and it’s been that way as long as I’ve known her (going on 13 years now). After welcoming a new baby into our family just a month before the scheduled trip in 2011 we were unable to go last year, but the year before was my first trip to Newport Beach as a runner. In fact, it was only my 2nd or 3rd week of running, and I bought my first pair of “minimal” shoes while I was there (Nike Free 3.0s). During my stay on the beach, I ran the boardwalk a total of three times for a grand total of maybe 10 miles my entire vacation. Being a much stronger runner than I was then, and having discovered trail running as well, I was determined to not spend all my time running a concrete boardwalk that never turns, ascends, or descends. I was sure that there had to be some great trails in a place as beautiful as Orange County, so I set to work searching for some online and stumbled into Orange County Trail Runners, who graciously has a map on their website with great trails all over the area.

A look at the canyon’s hills from the parking lot

What I found was Crystal Cove State Park, and more specifically, El Moro Canyon, which is just across the PCH from the oceanside park. The two areas of the park really couldn’t be more different. The oceanside park has several miles of flat-ish trails winding through scenic oceanfront vegetation, tide pools, and beachside cliffs. Across the street there are canyons, river trails, bluffs, and ridges waiting, along with picturesque vistas as you run towards the ocean. Unlike the oceanside trails though, they come with a price: the trails can consist of some very tough climbs, with a low-point of around 50 ft above sea level and a high-point nearing 1100 ft.

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By on July 4, 2012 in Trail Running

Gear Review: Camelbak Quick Grip Podium Chill Bottle

Brand: Camelbak

Model: Quick Grip Podium Chill

As I mentioned in my earlier post reviewing the Amphipod Run Lite 4 Hydration Belt, I’m not a big fan of hydration belts in general, and dislike the feeling of the additional weight around my waist. Another issue I’ve run into is trying to keep an 8-oz bottle of water that’s pushed up against your body cold when it’s well over 100-degrees outside. Reaching for a drink 2 hours into a run and taking a swig of hot water is certainly not on the list of my favorite things to do.

So to replace the hydration belt, I knew I wanted a handheld bottle that was insulated, but I wasn’t sure which one I wanted, or even what was available. After looking at the available options, I quickly settled on the Camelbak Quick Grip with the Podium Chill bottle.

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By on February 24, 2012 in Gear Reviews

2011 Rock n’ Roll Las Vegas Marathon

Race Name: Rock n’ Roll Las Vegas Marathon

Date: December 4, 2011

Distance:  Marathon

Footwear: Inov-8 f-lite 195

Time: 4:40:31

After finishing the Chicago Marathon in October I hit the streets hard to prepare for the Las Vegas Marathon, my second full marathon. Unfortunately, a couple weeks before the race I went out on an interval run to test out a new pair of shoes (Inov-8 Bare-X 200) and made a terrible error. With “barefoot” shoes I usually remove the insole for a closer-to-the-ground, more flexible feel in the shoe. Well, turns out it’s best if you remove them both rather than just one. Six miles later and I had one inflamed achilles tendon, just in time for it to affect the marathon I’ve been training for.

Being a night race, I had to prepare for it differently than if it was a morning race, mostly by watching what I ate and making sure I wasn’t tired or sluggish by race time. Ended up having real oatmeal and blueberries for breakfast, and then a bean and chicken burrito for lunch, and lots of water. For dinner I stuck with a Clif Bar and banana, which is my normal breakfast before a morning race.

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By on December 7, 2011 in Race Reports