Thursday, December 31, 2009
I chose a route that I thought would be fairly clear on the roads as I really didn't want to run on snow. Also, I checked my wallet and I didn't have the $4 required for running at Pettit. At the 5 mile point, I turned around to head back (I was going to add distance at the end), pulled up my sleeve to check the garmin and noticed I was at 8:36 pace. Now I was going to go with the wind for 5 miles so I ever so gently increased the pace. I was feeling pretty good out there. It was sunny for the first 8 miles and I saw quite a few kids with their parents sledding down hills. I love sledding and have done it twice this year so far.
By mile 8, my legs were starting to get cold as the temps were dropping and the winds were picking up. The clouds moved in as well. I got to mile 10 and the average pace was down to 8:28 and now I needed to run into the wind for a bit more than a mile. That was pretty cold and my legs felt it. I had enough layers on top to no issues there. Another out and back to finish the 13.1 miles. In the end, I ran 13.35 miles in 1:52:57 which I was pleased with. That puts me at a half marathon of 1:50:45 and with the conditions and it being not a race, I was pretty happy with.
Back to sledding. As I mentioned, I like to sled with the girls. I took 2 of them along with one of their friends sledding Wednesday morning. It was great! My parent gave me the old toboggan that I used to ride when I was a kid. The thing still is the fasted sled on the hill. The girls each have tube sleds to they ride on those a lot as well. I need to get some pictures to share. Typically winter sucks, but this is one aspect that is fun.
Time to go to my friend Chaz's house to celebrate New Year's Eve. The girls are invited as well so fun will be had by all. I am not exactly sure what we will all be doing, but it will be a nice end to a fairly nice year. I hope you all had a nice year as well. I will have to put a year in review post soon. 1481 miles created quite a few good memories, and some not so great memories.
Monday, December 28, 2009
The "Show Dome" full of Christmas decorations.
Megan fittingly on an "M" block.
Megan and Melissa resting after viewing all the decorations.
Saturday, December 26, 2009
I am training for the Icebreaker Marathon and Half Marathon to be held on January 23rd and 24th at the Pettit National Ice Center in Milwaukee. I am entered in the Gold Medal Challenge which consists of running the Half Marathon on Saturday morning and the running the Full Marathon the very next day on Sunday morning. I will explain more about this truly great and unique event a bit later in this post.
For my training this week, I decided to do double long runs, except not on consecutive days, 1 rest day between. It was kind of crappy out on Thursday (Christmas Eve) so I ventured off to Pettit for 50 laps around the Olympic Oval. There were only a hand full of runners so clear sailing the entire way. I was doing a rather easy pace knowing I was going to run on Saturday so I kept my laps around 2:23 to 2:28 each (8:40 to 9:00 pace). I only took on break for a minute to drink some water and continued on. With 5 laps to go, I decided to step it up and I picked up the pace to just about 7:00 per mile for the final ~1.4 miles. I felt good. The legs felt good. The ankle didn't appreciate the hard surface but nothing new here. I ended up averaging about 8:41 per mile for the 13.83 miles.
The day turned into a double workout when I got home though while I took the next hour to strength train in the form of shoveling the driveway. If you have ever shoveled about 5 inches of wet snow, you would understand that this truly is a strength training exercise.
I took Christmas Day off and spent it with family.
This morning I went to Pettit again. This time I slowed it down to laps of 2:35 to 2:38ish (9:24 to 9:35). I decided to pound out 84 laps, a mere 11.3 laps shy of a full marathon. This time I brought some water bottles and decided to break every 10 laps for water and 30 seconds of walking. This went well for the first 35 laps and then the legs felt a bit tired. No stopping though. I kept up the consistent pace. I was the first runner at Pettit today and even got in 5 laps before anyone else showed up. Lots of runner came and lots of runner left and I just kept pounding them out. My friends Chris and Dana ran 16 miles while I was out there as well. they were running considerable faster than me so I saw them every 6 laps or so as they passed me over and over. they left as I had 18 laps to go and I was tired but this worked into my plans and I wanted tired legs for the end. I kept to my plans and only took breaks every 10 laps and finished in 3 hours 29 minutes and 49 seconds. A conversion of 84 laps would be 23.23 miles. My knees were sore and my ankles were even worse but not nearly enough to stop me.
Like I said, the Icebreaker Marathon and Half Marathon take place on January 23 & 24. This is a completely indoor marathon, 1 of only 2 I know of in the US. It consists of 95.3 laps of the Pettit Nation Ice Center in Milwaukee. I have heard from countless people that this must be so boring. Not so. There is music playing the entire time (No headphones allowed due to safety and space constraints). During the race, there usually are speed skaters on the ice training. Even some really little kids which is really fun to see. There are 95 aid station stops and 190 portolets along the course. If you have family or friends that want to watch you race, they can sit in one spot, preferably wit a jacket and maybe a blanket, and see you 95 times. It is the flattest marathon in the world and there is no wind. It is kept at just under 50F so the temps are great. The con is that it can get crowded at times and it the surface is hard. Other than that, there are no cons I know of.
On Saturday, there are 3 races. 2 half marathons and a marathon relay. the marathon relay is the only race still open but is sounds really cool. all the Gold Medal Challenge runners (all 40 of us) and 80 other half marathon runners run in the first half marathon at 7:00AM. The second half marathon starts at 9:30AM. I am not sure what they are going to do if any of the gold medal runners are still running the half at 9:30 (2:30 race time). Everyone submitted an anticipated time for the half so they spilt the field accordingly. Each race has a limit of 120 runners which will make it crowded on the track but as long as everyone follows the "run in the outside lane and pass on the inside lane", there really wont be a problem.
The marathon relay starts at 1:00PM and each team consist of 2 to 4 runners. the cool thing, and adds a lot to strategy, is that each team an exchange as many times as they want to. Each team will have their own designated area to exchange and I personally am curious how often teams will change. I would choose to exchange every 4 laps (~1.15 miles) but that is me.
Sunday is the full marathon and there is only 1 race. I did this last year and while I did not do well, I still loved it. Just like at the Goofy Challenge at Disney World, the half marathoners get a medal, the fulls get one too, but the runners who do the Gold Medal Challenge get a third medal. Maybe this is like a scarlet letter. You wear this to show how insane you are for doing both races.
That is the Icebreaker in a nutshell. I recommend all of you come up, down, or over to Milwaukee next year and try this unique race. It fills up fast so keep an eye open for it.
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
I have added some pictures at the bottom of this post to show some of the decorations I have put up and the girls with Santa Claus. I absolutely love the fact that they all still believe in Santa Claus and my oldest keeps reminding me how a few years back, she actually heard Santa down stairs but when she went to go look, he was already gone. Oh to believe. But if you asked them what Christmas is all about, each of them would say all about Jesus.
I have only 1 more day of work for the year, tomorrow, but I have enough work to finish it could take 3 days. That doesn't mean I have only 1 more day of running this year. While I am not running today or tomorrow, I am planning a 2 hour run (about 13 miles or so) at the Pettit Center on Christmas Eve morning. I will take Christmas off but then the day after, Saturday, i am planning a long one, maybe up to 23 miles. It the weather goes according to the forecasts I am hearing, I will also be doing this one at the Pettit Center. Doing a 13 miler and then a 23 miler 2 days later will help me prepare for the Icebreaker Gold Medal Challenge.
I took this picture at a Breakfast with Santa event. I liked the reflection off the window and the lake in the background and didn't even realize her hands were together like in prayer until after I downloaded it.
The girls with Santa Claus. This was a really good Santa, even if his look isn't too good in this picture.
Here are the lights on my house. I could use some more, a lot more. What can I say, I like Christmas Lights.
The girls put almost all the ornaments on the tree this year. We do have 10 small Mickey Mouse head ornaments I put on that we play a "Find The Mickey Ornament" game. They find this fun.
Of course I have to have the marathon ornament on the tree. I also have a magnet of this for the back of my car or van. I get people from work or others I meet asking what is means. Sometimes I fool with them and say it is my phone number area code (it actually is 262) but then I tell them what it really means.
I wish you all a very Merry and blessed Christmas this year. I hope you can enjoy family and friends.
Sunday, December 20, 2009
Friday I was at work at 6:00 AM and we all started counting and counting and counting and recounting, etc. You get the point. We actually finished in good time so I was able to get out for a 6 1/2 mile run after work. I had to come again on Saturday morning for recounting but I knew it would not be a full day and I knew Sunday at work was not going to be needed. I got to work Saturday early again, 6:00 AM and we were done recounting by 9:00. I brought my running clothes so I decided to get in a 10 miler before going home. It turned out to be a pretty good run. It was just over 10 miles and every mile was between 8:19 and 8:35. It was about 29F out and some light snow was falling.
Saturday night I went to a Christmas/Welcome Home Party. We were welcoming home my cousin's husband who returned from Iraq. We are all happy he is back home and safe as well. They are expecting a baby in a month or 2. Another party tonight and I am pretty tired now. I need a good nights rest. It is going to be a pretty busy week coming us. Tuesday is the Christmas Service for 2 of my girls and then the family gatherings continue Christmas Eve and Day. So as you can see, it will be busy but I still plan on getting in those runs.
Have a wonderful week everyone!
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Since it was so cold out, I didn't want to wait for my Garmin to synch up with the satellites so I went with just my watch. I know the exact distance (5.13 miles) so I would know my pace, I just wouldn't know each mile split. No big deal since this was just an easy run. I had on my running tights and 4 tshirts (3 short sleeve and 1 long sleeve) as well as my bright greenish yellow wind breaker vest I got at the Green Bay Marathon. This was enough on top except maybe I could have used a second long sleeve shirt instead of a short sleeve. By the end of my run, I had a good sweat under my shirts, even at 8F out. My legs took the brunt of the cold. the running tights were not quite enough but I can't run with sweatpants or stuff like that. Maybe I could use some running pants or something like that, but it is so rare that I need them that I can do without. When I took off my running tights after the run, my thighs were pink and cold to the touch. After a bit of a walk through the plant (with tights back on), I warmed up and all was good again.
All in all, it was a good run. I was where there wasn't too much wind so the wind chill wasn't too bad. I maintained about an 8:35 pace and the roads were pretty clear of ice and snow. Lots of Christmas Lights on as well, bonus.
It is suppose to warm up some so the outdoor running will continue. They are forecasting a high of 29F tomorrow. I also checked to sunset times and we have now reached the latest time the sun sets so it will begin to be lighter when I go for runs after work. Even if it is a minutes every day or two, it helps.
Sunday, December 13, 2009
Saturday, December 12, 2009
Over the last 2 day, in fact over a 17 hour period, I ran the equivalent of a marathon on 2 different runs. First on Friday night, I went for a nice 5 miler through the street of Waterford looking at all the Christmas lights along the way. Some nice display and some not so nice ice. I didn't slip and fall at all, but it did get hairy at times. this is why I don't like running on the sidewalks. People don't take care of their sidewalks well enough so there is plenty of ice.
After some pizza for dinner and a nice sleep, I was up early to go to Mike's for our planned long run. We started at just before 7AM and it was somewhere between 10F and 15F out. The plan for me was again to take it nice and slow and run at about 9:30 pace for the run. Mike stuck with me for about 7 1/2 miles before he took off and then I maintained the nice easy pace. The sights along the way were spectacular. It was sunny out and the trees were full of snow still from the last storm we had a few days ago. It was absolutely beautiful and I wish i had a camera along to take some pictures of it. It was that way most of the course.
At about mile 15, my right calf started to feel a bit tight and almost felt like it was going to cramp up but I had a salt packet along so I downed that which I think helped later on. At mile 18, I took a small break before I went up the hills on Townline Rd. These hills finally kicked my butt and I struggled up them. This was my slowest mile of the entire run by about 45 seconds including some really steep hills during mile 9. I did get it back after 19 1/2 at cruised the last 1 to 2 miles and finished the 21.23 miles in 3:20:48. Mike finished ahead of me but had a nice large glass of Chocolate Milk waiting for me. It was a quite hilly 21 miles today so all in all, a very good workout.
I feel pretty good now after the run. 43.2 miles through the snow this week is not too shabby.
I did take the girls down to something fun tonight. We went down to Miller Brewery in Milwaukee to see their Christmas Light display choreographed to music. It was spectacular as always. They have been doing this for a few years now. A few new twists but same 250,000 lights. They still used a lot of music from Trans-Siberian Orchestra and it lasted about 10 minutes or so. Here is a link to a YouTube video from Miller that shows about 30 seconds of it from a few years ago.
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
It was another good run tonight. Easy pace over the hills loop and not much ice along the way, slush yes, ice no.
We are suppose to get quite a bit of snow tonight and tomorrow. But if you listened to the weather forecasters and news crews here in Milwaukee, you would think that the world was coming to an end. I mean these people are ridiculous. It is not like we have never gotten snow here before or even up to 12 inches as is expected. The city s cancelling schools and everything. It is like people have lost their minds. IT IS ONLY 12 INCHES OF SNOW PEOPLE!!!! We live in Wisconsin!!! I think the funniest thing about up coming snow storms that the media hypes up is that the grocery stores are packed with people "stocking up" on supplies and food. With the speed that they clean the roads now a days, it is never too long before they are easily drivable but yet people feel like you won't be able to go anywhere for days.
Another things they have already begun to do is close school for tomorrow. When I went to school, not too long ago I might add, they NEVER closed school on us. I remember having school closed maybe 5 times my entire elementary and high school years. Now if they closed school 5 times in 1 year, it would not surprise me. They seem to close it just in case it snows a lot. It makes it hard for parents like me to find places for the kids to go and be watched on no notice. yes, my work will let me take off and take a PTO day, they have no problems with this and are very family friendly, but I have a lot of responsibilities and need to be there to make sure production is completed. The snow and weather doesn't stop the customers from wanting their products. I have plans already in place for tomorrow in the event school is cancelled.
I am watching the news as I write this post and they just said there is a "State of Emergency across the State". Talk about an exaggeration! Maybe if this happened in Georgia, Florida, or somewhere else that doesn't get much snow it would be that, but not here.
Well, time for me to be proactive and go out and do a quick shovelling of the driveway. With the snow blower not working, I want to make sure there isn't too much to lift and screw up my back. For those of you in the cold, keep warm!
Monday, December 7, 2009
As you probably already know, I like to run after work. It is a routine for me and I can get it done before I see the princesses. The problem at this time of the year is that when I start, about 4:45PM, it is already mostly dark, all dark if it is cloudy out. This is where the winter running becomes a problem at times. Up here in Wisconsin, we get this stuff called snow. If you don't know what that is, it is a very cold white substance made from water frozen on its way back to earth from clouds. While snow is mostly OK when running, it is when it melts and re-freezes into ice where the problems can occur. Ice can be very slippery. 2 years ago on a run, I found some ice and slid to the side cutting up my leg as it found some jagged ice and last year, I found some ice hidden under some snow and went head over heals (literally) and screwed up my back and almost broke my wrist.
Why run outside in the winter then? For one, I don't have a treadmill and two, I have no desire to run on a treadmill. I actually like like running outside in the winter time, you just have to be careful out there. When running around possible ice, you have to run more tentatively and be more sure of your steps. You watch the road more looking for ice or maybe that reflection of lights that could indicate ice ahead.
Another small problem is running over snow drifts or other snow in the road. While typically it is not slippery enough to make you slip and fall, it does stick to the bottom of your shoes and that makes stepping uncomfortable or unusual. What usually happens then is a quick scuffing of the shoe across the road to remove the snow, that is until the next pile of snow you run into and the process starts all over again.
There are the usual and obvious things about winter running that even people who do not get much (or any) snow encounter. The cold, or as it seems to me in some parts of the country, the not as warm. The key here is to wear layers. It was 20F out on my run today and I wore 1 long sleeve T-shirt and 2 short sleeve T-shirt (as well and a reflective vest, no warmth there). I also wore some running tights, something that can give me quite a few odd glaces and comments from co-workers as I leave for a run. I know some of you put on the running tights when it hits 45F out, I prefer to wait until it is about 25F before they go on, depending on the windchill. As far as I am concerned, there is no need for expensive running gear. No need for that expensive running jacket and gloves that do nothing more than tshirts and a nice pair of short ankle socks.
I did get in 5 miles tonight at 8:38 pace over my hills loop I run during the winter. It is though a wooded neighborhood which is nice to run this time of year. I enjoyed seeing all the Christmas Lights on the houses and seeing what displays were new or different this year. I was by myself tonight as Mike had to get home early. No problems and an very nice run. I like these nights. After a half mile, I wasn't cold at all and even built up a small sweat by 2 miles.
We are in store for a snow storm tomorrow so I will have to deal with that snow sticking to the show thing tomorrow night. I will enjoy running in the falling snow but won't enjoy the shoveling of it later that night and next morning. My snow blower is broken so back to the old fashion way. It is going to stay cold here for awhile. The forecast calls for a cold Saturday with a low Friday night of 11F or so and a high of only 29F so that means a long run at about 15F or so.
Bring on the winter running, just don't bring on the falls.
Saturday, December 5, 2009
It was just Mike & I out there and we started out slower and were going to pick it up about halfway. Miles 1 & 2 were close to 8:40 pace then we slowed a bit as we took a short walk break and hit the first couple hills. Miles 3, 4, 5, & 6 were just under 9:00 pace as we warmed our bodies up and got into a rhythm. By mile 6, we were averaging 8:51 pace and now had a bunch of medium hills ahead of us and I tried to pick up the pace just as I said I would try. This was the first of the two runs on this single run.
Mile 7 started out good. We picked it up and dropped it to an 8:18. Mile 8 was an 8:11. Then without my knowing, we picked it up even more. Miles 9 through 11 were 7:43, 7:30, & 7:29. And these included a larger hill we trucked up pretty good.
Running with Mike is a little different that running with some of my other friends. Since he is a faster runner than I am, he likes to run a few steps ahead of me or sometimes just 1 step. After a bit, I would catch up to him and stride right next to him and then he would speed up and retake that step or 2. Sometimes it bothers me. It is like, "Are you running with me or not?" and then sometimes I like it because it makes me pick up my game and gives me a great workout even though it is just a regular run to him. He did this to me a lot over the last 0.6 miles as we finished at 6:55 pace for that short distance.
All in all it was a pretty good 11.6 miles this morning. I averaged 8:19 pace for the hilly miles which was good. I really liked the last 5 miles even more. It was a confidence booster run today. My lunges were still crappy from the junk still in there so that made it feel good to overcome that. It was also nice to get out there in the cold. I know my friend Chris ran his run this morning inside at the Pettit Center and I want to avoid there as long as I can. I will have to go there a lot I am sure this winter but not this week.
Thursday, December 3, 2009
Sunday, November 29, 2009
Mike, Chaz and I met at Mike's home at 6:30AM on Saturday for another longer run. We planned on doing 17 miles along the same hilly course and even add a few more hills to make it 17. My plan was to run it nice and slow like last week but this time, not pick it up at the end. I was about 28F out when we started but it was sunny so it would warm up some. It is colder now up here so this time I had on 3 shirts (1 long, 2 short) but still wore my shorts. I am not ready to pull out the running tights quite yet. I can handle the cold on my legs so no worries.
Mike and Chaz kept with me for the first 2 miles before they took off and ran close to 8:00 pace as I kept it between 9:20 and 9:30. It was beautiful and calm out and I felt pretty good all the way. I did have one mile under 9:00 but that was because there was a long downhill. I tried hard to keep the pace easy as that is what I am trying to do differently. I ended up averaging 9:22 for the 17 miles.
We sat around talking for awhile before I went home and took a nice hot shower as I was feeling quite cold by then. Little did I know that this was the first sign of worse to come later that night. As I am watching a movie with my oldest princess (The Sound of Music), she tells me she is feeling bad and has an upset stomach. I took her to bed and after I went to bed, I woke up freezing. I put on some sweatpants and a sweatshirt to sleep in under the covers and I was so cold. I also had a headache and felt warm. Yes a fever has hit the house. This morning I woke up still cold and achy all over. It felt like I ran a full marathon the day before I ached so much. I had the oh so fun hot and cold streaks. I even stayed home from Church today with my princess who was sick as well.
It is now 3:30ish and I am starting to feel better. I actually ate something which was good and my headache is starting to go away though it is still there. The achy body is starting to go as well so I am hoping that this was only one of those 24 hour things.
We did have some nice weather yesterday afternoon. It got to about 55 and sunny so I was able to put the rest of the Christmas lights up on the house. They are not on yet as I will wait a few more days. I am going to have to figure out how many lights I have on the house and yard this year. it is more than last year though I am no where near "Clark W. Griswold" levels. The princesses are getting excited about Christmas and will be seeing Santa next weekend. The gifts are being purchased and there are many church services to attend over the next 5 weeks. I will try to squeeze in as much running as I can during this time though I may need to do some of it early in the morning before work.
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Today I did get 5 miles closer though. I went out for a run at 5:30PM and it was misty and drizzling and about 44F. After 2 miles, it was raining pretty good. The good news was that the rain made me pick up the pace so I could get out of it. I really didn't mind the rain though, I actually like running in the rain, once I am all wet that is. I mean, when you are already wet, why not enjoy it. I did wear my reflective vest today and I am glad I did. With the rain and darkness, i am sure drivers would have a hard time seeing me without it. At least most of the drivers moved out of the way in plenty of time, except, that is, for the UPS driver who was slowing down to make a delivery and decided to pull over right in front of where I was running. Hello, let's try to avoid the the bright reflective item in the road!
I am planning on getting up early for a short run before I go to my princesses school to help set up the Thanksgiving feast they have planned for the PreK, Kindergartners, and First Graders. They will put on a little show in the church first before the feast so I am looking forward to it.
Good luck to all of you running Turkey Trots this year.
Sunday, November 22, 2009
After only about 5 to 5 1/2 hours of sleep, I got up at about 5 and was to Mike's house by 6AM. A small tragedy was was in full process as I stepped into the house. Mike's son had gotten a crayfish as a school experiment and it was kept in a small Tupperware bowl. During the night, the crayfish escaped and was somewhere in the house (or the cat ate it?) Eventually it was found, alive no less, about 15 feet away near to sofa.
I was leaving before Mike and Chaz so they could run faster than me and we all end about the same time. In fact, the plan was for them to "catch me" about mile 12 and I was going to pick up the pace and run with them for the final 2 miles. So off on my own I went. The first mile was 9:06 and it was kind of hard to run that slow that early in a run. I slowed it more and actually averaged 9:40 at mile 12, perfect. We ran our usual course we call "The Looper", but this time was went down a new way for a bit to add about 2 1/2 miles to the course. None of us had run this part before and we were in for a surprise.
I take the new turn and all of a sudden, just past the herd of cows, there is a long steep downhill. the type of downhill you can't run very fast on. After crossing the river, a steep uphill until the next turn. I get to that turn and look ahead and I actually said out loud (I was by myself) "Holy Crap!" as I saw a hill that looked like a large wall. It was steep but I managed to keep my 9:35 pace. After that another downhill before the turn to another long 3/4 mile hill that was not steep, just long.
So far I am loving this new course, the hills will help so much. I get to mile 12 and look back and Mike and Chaz are nowhere to be seen. I decide to pick it up as planned without them. Like I said, so far the pace was 9:40 but mile 13 was dropped to 8:19, not all that fast for me, but fast after 12 miles. Then I had a nice easy downhill for a bit and ran mile 14 in 7:13. I was cruising! I finished with an average pace of 9:22 so I am happy with what I set out to do. I plan on running this new course again even if Chaz and Mike were cursing me while they ran behind me (it was my idea to run this new direction).
About 15 minutes later, Mike and Chaz run in and it turns out they ran about 30 seconds per mile slower that they set out to do.
I plan on another longer run next weekend. I am not sure how long but I will again try it at a slow pace. Right now I am thinking of 16 or 18 miles. I will see who is available to join me for the run first.
Thursday, November 19, 2009
Yesterday I was able to use that gift well. Mike and I went on a 5 miler that turned into a 6 miler. We started out easy but after halfway, we kept picking it up. We dropped the pace to the low 8's and then Mike drove us home with a 7:17 to finish. This felt great. I did have issues with my ankle that keeps popping up but I am dealing with it. I am hoping this weekends longer run goes well too. Nice and easy.
Just remember all you runners out there. I don't care if you run marathons or as short as 5K's, God gave you a gift to run so use it to the best ability you can. And remember:
God Made You Special
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
I did run again after work today. I am trying to get back in the game with running since I haven't had any real training since 2 weeks before my October marathon. It has been all taper, marathons, and recovery since then. I have some time now before the next marathon to get some good miles it. Tonight it was 5 miles by myself. It was cold, dark and windy as I started and it was very, very lightly raining. It was a good easy run. I averaged 8:25 or so and it did feel easy. I plan on running another 5 or so tomorrow so my mileage this week should be a little higher than in recent weeks. It is only 9 miles so far this week, but if I run 5 tomorrow, 5 on Friday, and 14 on Saturday, that would make it 33 for the week. Not exactly a huge week, but a lot compared to recent weeks.
Monday, November 16, 2009
If you have read my blog for awhile, you will know that when I go on a long run, I usually run it at marathon pace. This really isn't hard for me to do for a 20 miler. But all the coaches and experts say that you should run them slower. They say that the time on your feet is more important than the distance. I have always felt that if I could do these longer runs faster, I would become that much stronger. I am less convinced of this now so next year and the remainder of this year, I will try to run my long runs at a slower pace. It will probably feel really slow to me, but then again, it should feel a hell of a lot faster than, say, miles 23 through 26 of Indy. I plan on still doing a few longer runs faster, maybe even some 3-1 runs where I run slow the first 3/4 of the run and pick it up for the last 1/4 but I will give it a try.
I am also going to try to run even longer in hopes that my muscles will become stronger and less apt to tire toward the end of a race. I did do a 26 mile training run about 2 months ago before WhistleStop and I think I will do more. I may go up to 28 but I will do these runs slow like I stated up top. I might wait until spring to do these, maybe not. We will see.
I am not sure these are good ideas or bad ideas. I just know that I need to change it up some. I know I am capable of running a faster marathon and I feel I "could" run as fast as 3:30 if I train properly and pull it all together on race day
It is good to have goals. Set your goals high . . . then shatter them!
Saturday, November 14, 2009
So what have I done running-wise since I first posted? I have run many short races, 6 full marathons, and 1454 miles of running. I am not fully satisfied with my racing performances during the past 365 days but they haven't been all bad.
What has been bad is my training since my marathon 5 weeks ago. I haven't run nearly enough and I need to get back on the horse. This week is no exception. I did run 4 miles this week so far but I am recovering from the marathon this past weekend. I really ought to be out there for a nice slow 10 miler this weekend but I am not. I will get back to it next week though. I now have 2 1/2 months to train before the next marathon, actually marathon and a half.
So what did I do not running today? I went to help out my parents with some yard work and household chores. Then after I got home, it was so nice out (61F), I decided to put up the Christmas Lights. Notice I said "PUT UP" not "PUT ON" the Christmas Lights. In my mind, it is acceptable to have your lights up this early, especially up here where it could be very cold this time of year with possible snow. My rule, though, is that the lights don't go on until the first week of December. I have seen a few house with lights already on but not me. Can't you all wait until at least AFTER Thanksgiving? Let's keep the holidays in order. There is even a radio station here that started 24 hours a day Christmas Music. AARRGGHH Well, at least they waited a bit more than last year when they started on Halloween night.
OK, back to the training table and back to the roads!
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
The front of the house Michael Jackson grew up in.
The backyard of Michael Jackson's boyhood home. Tiny!
No running yet. Maybe a short run tomorrow. I am going over in my mind what may have gone wrong with the race and what I need to do to improve. I have some ideas and I will share them with you soon. The next marathon is The Icebreaker Indoor Marathon on January 24th. 2 1/2 month to prepare.
Sunday, November 8, 2009
Thursday, November 5, 2009
Why sign up so late you may ask? Well, there have been some issues with my family that I needed to make sure were is good standing before I left for a day and a half. My Dad had bone spur surgery on his foot about 3 weeks ago and is moving quite slow. Then my Mom had a biopsy done on her lungs on Monday and just got out of the hospital yesterday. Good news though, the spots are not cancer but instead are scars from a rare fever she had a few years ago. It was a scary few days for us with her, but the Lord answered our prayers!
Now all that is bad enough and they need help at home, obviously, and I do have brothers that can help, but the closest brother to where they live broke his leg about 3 weeks ago as well. Crappy few weeks for my family, huh. So he can’t help much. They my other brother close by who has been helping a lot, is having a party Saturday night and will need to prepare there. So with all that going on, I am going over to my parent’s house tonight with the Princesses to help out however I can until I return and can go back there Saturday night when I get back.
It is all good though. I will leave tomorrow morning right after 2 parent-teacher conferences and make the trek across Wisconsin, the tip of Illinois and down Indiana. I borrowed a few Comedy CD’s from a friend to help pass the time. Music for 5 hours just doesn’t cut it when you are by yourself sometimes. A little laughter always helps.
The weather looks pretty good for racing on Saturday. Sunny and a starting temp of 46ish. When I finish about 55ish. The winds are a bit high though. Close to 15 MPH from the SSW which means a tough last few miles as we go south. Maybe the building will block some. We can only hope!
Good Luck to the rest of you who may be running this weekend. I haven’t heard of anyone, but maybe someone will find this post who is running in Indy.
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
Jenny was an Olympic caliber marathon runner from Milwaukee. She had qualified for 4 US Olympic Marathon Trials and even was the first American woman in the 2005 New York City Marathon. In August of 2007, she was on training run in Milwaukee getting ready for the Olympic Trials in Boston about 8 months later. While on a morning run, she stepped off the curb near the end of her run and was hit by a car almost killing her. The superior shape her body was in helped save her life. Her running career was over in an instance.
I won't go into detail of what the article said. It was about her recovery and her rehabilitation and how her family is coping and how she has new and old friends helping her out. Please read the whole article to read more. Then today in the local paper here in Milwaukee, there was a story of her finally leaving the Rehab facility to live in her own apartment with a live in assistant. If you want to read that article, see HERE.
What is not said too much in the Runner's World Article or the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel article, is exactly how much Jenny Crain was loved and endeared by the local running community. I do not know her personally though it is possible I have spoken to her before. What is really great about her when she was a world class runner is that she was so open and friendly with the Milwaukee running community. She ran a lot of the local charity races from 5K's to 10 milers. I mean a lot of them. I can't tell you how often I saw her at races, at least I saw the back of her, for a little bit. All the kidding aside, she may have only been doing a Tempo run or a training run, but she was there with the masses of us regular runners. And she was not the type to gloat over her wins in these races or gloat about how great she was. She was humble and generous to all.
How often do you go to a local race and have a world class runner there? And with her, it was often.
I have run with a couple other world class runners in my past, and it seems that most of them are extremely nice, just like Jenny Crain. Dan Held (represented the US in the Ultra-Marathon World Championships one year) lives in the Milwaukee area and is this way. I have run with him a few times at the Pettit Center in my past faster running days on cool downs. Dan is the same, runs in a lot of the local races and is extremely friendly to everyone as well.
I wouldn't wish what happened to Jenny Crain on anyone. It is such a sad story that it happened to such a great person. But she is getting better and we all like that, especially all the runners in Milwaukee who have seen her so often.
Monday, November 2, 2009
Steve and I before the race.We met at 6 AM and drove in the darkness to where the race would begin. We signed up and did a mile and a half warm up and then headed to the start. This is kind of like a Halloween race so there were many people dressed up. Spiderman ran as well as a full grown adult baby clad in only a diaper and bonnet (quite disturbing). The race was mostly an out and back on a very flat course. The weather was warm, low to mid 70's at the 7:30 start but everyone there was glad it was cool. They have been having hot weather recently.
The gun goes off and I make sure I go out conservatively in the heat. Mile 1 was at 7:02, a little faster than I wanted but OK. The remainder of the race was very consistent for me. Every mile was between 7:00 and 7:08 and I ended in 35:19 good for near 32nd place overall out of about 200 or so runners. After checking the results, I found out that I took 3rd in my age group out of 16. COOL.
Someone took pictures during the race and posted them online including my finish.
During the awards, when they got to mentioning me, the guy announcing said my name and where I lived. When he got to Saying"Wisconsin", he said it in a questioning tone as if to say, "What the heck is someone from Wisconsin down here for?" There were runners from other states as well, Ohio, Colorado, Maryland, Indiana and even someone from Ontario, Canada. But I was the first non-Floridian to finish for whatever that is worth.
This was a nice little race and the Gulf Coast Runners put on a good event. The other runners were friendly (duh, they are runners after all) and I had a good time. If I happen to be in the Naples area again when this race it run, I would definitely go again.
A close up of the nice Halloween Ornament I received.
Saturday, October 31, 2009
Me on the Naples Pier.
The resort was on a very nice looking golf course. I wish I could have played a round!
The view from the condo along the golf course.
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
On Saturday, I went with my 2 oldest princess to a pumpkin farm and we picked out these 3 pumpkins which we (me) carved this week. Guess who had to carry all of them back from the field? It was all good though and the girls really like their pumpkins.
So if I don't get online before next weekend, have a happy and safe Halloween. And happy and safe running too!
Monday, October 19, 2009
I wanted to go do a somewhat easy 5 miler. I started late as I needed to get some new tires for the van. So at about 6:10PM, I started out and I felt great from the start. I kept slowly increasing the pace and by the 5th mile, I decided to slow up some since I wasn't planning on a tempo run. I ended up running a little over 5 miles at 8:13 pace and feeling like it was relatively easy. I didn't want to go too fast as I am still planning on running an 8K race on Sunday. That will be my tempo run for the time between marathons. I am still planning on running the Indianapolis Monumental Marathon on November 7 (?) but not 100% sure yet. It is a nice flat course so I think I could run well there.
I thought I would share a couple pictures from the Whistle Stop Marathon. As you can see in t he first picture, it is cold out since I am wearing ear muffs and socks on my hands? Socks on my hands???? Yes, I do that instead of gloves for a few reasons. Keeping my fingers together keeps them warmer and early in the race, I was carrying AccelGel and that way i didn't have to worry about dropping them. OK, you can call me a cheap guy, but it works for me and why spend $$ on gloves when you don't have to?
This second picture is me coming down to the finish line. My last 2 miles were fairly good compared to 21, 22, & 23. A strong finish feels good.
Friday, October 16, 2009
I took off Wednesday and Thursday to let the body recover a bit more. So after work today, I decided on another 4 miler. It was about 45F out and misting as I set out onto a trail near where I work for 2 loops. The first mile went very smooth and so did the second. I went onto the second loop and actually picked it up some as i felt really good. I did not wear the garmin so I do not know exactly how far I went but I am guessing a little over 4 miles and I am guessing at about 8:20 to 8:30 pace. On the second loop, the mist turned into light rain but I like running in the rain so it was all good.
Afterwards, my left quad was a bit tight but that is gone now. I am not as concerned about it as I was a few days ago. And now I am thinking more about running in Indianapolis in 3 weeks. Right now Paul is planning on going (let's hope he doesn't cancel this time, lol) and I am hoping to get Chaz to come as well. I would give it a 50/50 chance on him going.
Indianapolis is another Saturday marathon. I think I like these. Take the day off on Friday to travel, get up early on Saturday, run a marathon, and then drive home and be home by bed time. Then have all day Sunday to rest and relax. It is about a 5 hour drive to Indianapolis so it is actually 1 hour less than he drive to Whistle Stop.
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
My quads were tired all week prior to the race and that was the thing toward the end of the race that slowed me down. So what do I have to do to make my quads less tired at race time while making sure they are strong enough to go the entire 26.2 miles? Longer taper? Better food for energy? Quad massage? I don't know. And I assume that this is an individual thing so what may work for others does not work for me.
One thing I worked on this year is putting in more miles in training and I think that I still didn't put in enough. I feel I need some longer slower runs as well as longer faster runs. I also missed out on a lot of speed work this summer. I really don't think this is the issue though. I need more stamina, more endurance but maybe the hard speed work will do that also.
So I go on now trying to figure this marathon thing out. And I try to recover from this last marathon which is taking longer than usual. I went on a 4 mile run yesterday and it was one of the worst runs in a looooooong time. The first mile went well but 2 and 3 were slow and wobbly. I even walked some as I felt a little dizzy (wonder what that was all about?) I still am having some issues with my left quad. It is still sore and I think I maybe strained it or pulled it a little in the race.
I am going to take some more time off and maybe run a short one on Friday. I do have another race on the horizon and I don't mean a marathon. I am going down to Florida next week for a bit and I found a little local 8K to run in. I checked results from past years and it looks like no one from outside Florida runs this one so it may be fun being the outsider. In any event, it will be nice to go somewhere warm since we have had some cold weather here the past week and this coming week. It is not like I built up a huge sweat at Whistle Stop but I am sure I will at this one.
So who is your biggest critic? Never stop trying to improve yourself!
Sunday, October 11, 2009
The race expo and pasta dinner was held in a hockey arena on the board covered ice rink. Now that is what northern Wisconsin is all about.
As you can see, the car had some snow on it before I left in the morning.