Saturday, February 28, 2009

Neil Patrick Harris and Taylor Swift

Today was a long day at work. I arrived at 5:45ish and did not get out until 6:30PM. We got a lot done in the work in process conversion, a little more than I expected so that was great. I do have to go in tomorrow to put some more forecasts in, but that should take only a few hours. I will go in later in the day.

I was able to get in a run today after we were finished. I ran 8 3/4 miles in the cool air and it felt good. It was about 18F outside so it was easy running. It was already dark so I had to be careful for the ice, but no problems. I was able to pick up the pace on the second half of the run and finished at an average pace of 8:15. To tell you the truth, the only reason I ran at least 8.5 miles today was so I could get to 100 miles for the month. Normally I would have only run 5 miles but since I didn't have a long run planned this weekend, I stretched it out.

A funny coincidence just happened as I am writing this. I am watching Saturday Night Live and the host is Neil Patrick Harris. I just watched a blog of his recommended by a friend called something like Dr. Horrible. It was a TV show style blog about him being an evil Dr. (like Dr. Evil from Austin Powers). The twist is that it is in the style of a musical and he likes a girl who meets and dates his arch nemesis. Hilarity ensues. The other coincidence is that Taylor Swift is the musical act. I was seriously going to write about her in my blog today since this morning. Have you heard her song "Love Story"? I usually don't listen to much new music as most of the time I have no idea who it is and don't get to listen to the radio but I have been hearing this song on our company music system and I did hear it on the way to work today. I really like this song. I am not sure why, but it is quite catchy. Just my thoughts there. Hopefully she will preform it at one of her musical segments tonight. Besides, she is quite pretty as well.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

A Lot Better and a small give away

I woke up today and my toe was feeling better, not great, but better. I went to work and was able to walk normally. I think a lot of the problem was the shoes I was wearing. New shoes helped a lot because the top of the toe which was swollen some, was not rubbing . I any case, I did not run today. I am sure that I could but I did not have time today. I am hoping to get in a mid length run tomorrow (8 to 10 miles) and then have a fun weekend at work. Can you tell that was full of sarcasm?)

Today in the mail, I received my Runner's World Gift from my renewal of my subscription. It is a Runner's World Training Log. I keep a log of my runs, but I keep it in a spreadsheet in Excel. So I now have a Training Log that I will not use. So now I will have a giveaway. If anyone of you would like it, I will send it to you. The back of the book has lots of running tips, ideas, pace chart, etc. Just leave me a comment and let me know where to send it and it will be on the way.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

We Have a Little Problem

When I say I have a little problem, it really is a little problem. It is the toe next to my big toe on my right foot. I have had problems with this toe on and off for awhile. If you look at it from above, it looks crooked slightly curving away from the big toe. This causes lots of blisters on the curve of the toe. Well, as long distance runners, we all have blisters now and then and I don't usually have problems with them. It is the other problem that quite a few runners have that is my issue. Last night I lost the toe nail there. I am sorry if that sounds sick but many runner have this and this isn't the first time I have had this happen to me. The problem is that it cut too close to where the toe nail grows out of the toe and it is very sore today. I am walking with a limp when just yesterday I ran 5 miles no problem. Needless to say, I will not be running today as that would be very painful and I need this to heal some quickly. Hopefully only a day or 2 because this is annoying and rather sucks. It is such a small toe but causes so much pain. AARRGGHH!!!

I'll be back running soon, I know that, but it felt so good yesterday, I wanted to continue it. I guess better now than a few days before a race.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

A New Hard Drive and I am Back

I am back. I had some issues with my computer. I got to work on Monday morning about to start the busiest week of work I think I may ever have. It is conversion week for or ERP system and I have a lot to do with the scheduling and work in process conversions. So it would be helpful to have a working computer but I was unable to log in Monday morning. Turns out the hard drive was toast. IT worked on it all day and this morning I had it back with a new hard drive and all settings gone. Should take me about 2 months to get it back to normal.

After the day today, I was able to get in a 5 mile run. It was quite warm outside, at least warm for us northerners. 32 F! I could have worn shorts! The run was great. Not only was it light out for the entire run, but I ran it at an average of 8:20 and felt wonderful. Feels like I am recovered from the 2 marathons which means I can start my long training for the next one. I do not plan on running a marathon this spring (at least race one, maybe run one as a long run though). The next one on my agenda right now may be Whistlestop Marathon in Ashland, WI in October. This one runs on nice trails near peak color time and has a net drop of 600 feet from start to finish. Sounds like a possible PR course to me. I plan on getting back to the basics in training and endurance. I have been sacrificing quality for quantity this past 12 months. Since April 6, 2008, I have run 8 marathons with not a single one under 4 hours like I ran in October 2007.

Changing subject, some of you are interested in how my oldest princess did in her Pine Wood Derby. We did not do too good but learned some valuable lessons for next year. She ended up in 5th place in Division D which means she took 23rd out of 28 cars. At least her car made it past the finish line. 4 cars didn't even make it that far. The car was fast off the line usually 1st or 2nd by the bottom of the hill, but lost speed fast and was passed quickly. It is all in the wheels and her wheels were too loose. Next Year!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Back on the Roads

I was back top running today. It was my first run since the Austin Marathon and the Heart of Texas Challenge. I went out on the Hills Loops for a nice easy 5 miler. Except it wasn't as easy as I was hoping. It was 24 F outside so colder than Texas of course. The first mile was OK. Probably faster that the average pace and felt good . . . that is until the first hill. That is when my legs reminded me that I ran 54..5 miles over the weekend. And this was the hills loop so that was not the only hill. I ended up running at 8:52 pace but struggled a bit at the end. But it did feel good to get back out there.

I was planning on running a 10 miler in the morning but I think I will take the day off. Besides, at 10 AM is the Pine Wood Derby. Hope you all have a great weekend!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Some Observations

I am absolutely amazed at how good I felt the day after the races. I do not know how this happened. I was able to get out of bed quickly for my flight home without much pain at all. Going down stairs did not cause any pain or soreness.

Here are some more observations from the races. The lady I wrote about that drafted me the entire way up the windy beach ended up running about 4 minutes faster than me but only 1 place. She ended up being in 2nd place for Female Masters. I guess I helped her then. In the Austin race, I ended up getting pretty sun burned on Sunday. The sun came out at mile 12 and then after wiping sweat and water off my face enough, the sunscreen was gone.

I don’t know if you heard about the meteor or satellite piece that fell in Texas on Sunday. The video that they are showing over all the news stations is from a TV Station recording the Austin Marathon. You can see runners going by in the video. Also, Larry from our group actually saw the fireball shooting through the sky. When he told us about it that afternoon, we thought he was hallucinating (at least we made fun of him that way) until we saw it on the news later.

I feel ready to run again. I think I will be taking a few more days off though, just to rest those legs some more. I put in 61.5 miles last week. That may be the highest weekly total for me ever.

Melissa & I finished her Pine Wood Derby car last night and took it in for the weigh in. And just as I suspected, it was painted pink, with some light blue on the sides. The race is Saturday. And for Mark out there, I think she will have the number 17! Sorry it is not black and yellow.

And as one more side note, today is my birthday. I don’t feel right when people make a big deal of it, it is just another day most of the time and I usually don’t tell people when it is, but some of you have become cool Blog Friends so I thought I would share.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Race Report - Austin Marathon

I survived!

Well, The Heart of Texas Challenge in now over and I am proud to say that I have completed it. It was rather difficult today, but that was expected.

Paul and I woke at about 5 AM and left along with Bob and Michelle, friends of Paul’s. We left at about 5:45 for the 7:00 start. We got to downtown Austin and it was still dark and after a stop at the Porto’s, we walk to the start line and meet up with Larry and Art whom we work with. The race is delays about 10 minutes but then starts out. I run with Art or the first 3 miles until I lost him in the crowds of both the half and full marathoners. The half marathoners stay with us until 10 miles and then it thins out. It is cloudy and cool at the start which is wonderful and the first 4 miles and a struggle as my legs don’t know what is going on. After 4, they loosen up some and I can pick up the pace. I end up meeting some guy from Austin and run wit him for about 7 miles as we talked about all sorts of stuff. We were running his pace perfectly so he stayed with me. Miles 6 & 7 actually make it under 10:00 for the first time in the race.

There were hills over the first 3 miles and then back down and then they started again at about mile 7 with a short yet steep one. The hills actually felt good since it was using different muscles that I used yesterday on the flat beach. Miles 9 through 13 were quite steady over the hills from a low of 10:17 to a high of 10:39. I go through half way at about 2:18 and now I am feeling a little tired but I am going into uncharted territory is I go past 40 miles for the weekend.

Even though I am tired, I am in good spirits and I talk to quite a few people for a minute here and a minute there. Very friendly people in the race. I see a lot of the same people now for most of the rest of the race. The crowds along the course and also friendly and supportive. Lots of fruit and other stuff the eat.

My plan from the start was to run between water stops and walk as I drink for a break. I end up doing this the entire race though the breaks get a bit longer as time goes on. I get to mile 20 in a time of 3:33:41 and now the calculations start in my head as to how fast I have to run to still break 5 hours. I am feeling confident unless a major breakdown occurs. My knees and Achilles are sore but not too bad. The roads have a camber to them but if you stay in the middle, it is better. Half the road is open to traffic so not much room.

A little after this I meet 2 guys who end up being Texas State Trooper. Great guys and a lot of fun to run near. We help each other out and have fun. Now the rest of the race is mostly downhill but a few more up hills to go. Mile 24 ends up being my slowest and my only mile over 12 minutes at 12:35, must have been a long water break. The right after mile 24, we go up a long sort of steep uphill. I catch up the State Troopers and yell “Let’s Go Troopers”. “YES SIR” was their response. We got to the top and all of a sudden I felt good so I picked up the pace. Mile 25 ends up 11:34 but the hill was long and slow. I continue to feel great for some unknown reason so I keep up the pace, actually go faster and Mile 26 ends up, just like yesterday, being my fastest mile of the entire marathon at 9:15. I didn’t know I had it still! There was also a minor 1 block sort of steep hill there. I probably could have gone under 9 had it not been there. I end up having quite a sprint at the end at cross the line in 4:43:10! The best part was I felt really good afterwards. Well, not good, but good for just running a marathon good.

I was able to eat after the race and now we are waiting for Art to pick us up to go out to dinner. Art runs a 4:31, Larry runs 4:20, and Paul was feeling bad the first half of the race and ends up running a 4:18. Fun was had by all though I don’t plan on doing this back to back marathon crap anytime soon. I just calculated my total time and for 52.4 miles, it ends up being 9:00:20. If only I could have gone 21 seconds faster! Ah, no big deal.

Well, thanks for your support and well wishes for the races. Good luck to all of you coming up on your own races. I need to recover now with a beer and some good Authentic Texas Bar-B-Que!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Race Report: Surfside Marathon

Well, it is 1 down and 1 to go in the Heart of Texas Challenge.

Paul and I left our Hotel at about 6:45 to drive the 8 miles or so to the start line. It was a bit foggy in the morning, visibility of about 1 mile or so. We get to the start line area and park right on the beach about 200 meters from the start line and big white tent. It was about 60 F out so a little warm but all in all not bad. There are lots of people walking all over getting their bags and chip things. And a festive atmosphere is around.

Right at 8 AM the trumpet player plays the National Anthem and we are almost ready to go. There is not mat to cross at the start so everyone is running against “gun time” which is no big deal as there are about 650 to 700 people on a quite large beach. The horn sounds for the start and off we go. The goal is to start out at 9:30 pace and see what happens later in the race. Slower than I am used to but a good idea as you will see later.

Mile 1 9:06 Felt very slow and I had to hold back a lot.
Mile 2 9:35 First water stop and short walk break

We ran about 2.5 miles down the beach and turned around and headed back toward the start/finish line and then continued a whole 13.1 miles to the north.
Mile 3 9:12 Still feeling very easy
Mile 4 9:29 I think I need to stop for a porto
Mile 5 9:42 Did stop
Mile 6 9:17 Ahh I feel better.
At mile 6, the wind picks up A LOT. We have to head into this wind all the way up to the turn around at mile 15.5 and it is brutal. I would say it was a 20 MPH wind almost directly into our face. We all hoped that after the turn around that is would still be this much at our backs the final 10.7 miles. At mile 7 I feel the presence of a lady running just behind me. I am 6’2” and I was the wind block for her. Pretty soon more join in. By mile 9, we had about 8 to 10 of us running in a pack. The problem was I was the leader for all but about 2 miles of it. Now runner etiquette says that other should share the lead as wind breaker but only this younger guy in his 20’s would do it for a short time. He was tall as well so everyone loved us. I mentioned a few times as we talked a lot that someone else should take the lead for awhile but that lady just said “But you are doing such a nice job at it” This irritated me as I like to run properly (at least in my book)

Mile 7 9:57 Windy
Mile 8 9:46 Windy
Mile 9 9:35 Windy
Mile 10 9:51 We start to play games guessing how far it is to the buildings we see off in the distance. I say 2 miles, the other guy says 1.5 miles. It was 1 ¾ miles, we tie!

Just trying to keep it steady here and just get to the turn so the wind can be at our backs. The other guys says a funny line “She is just playing by different rules”. At one point in time, someone in the group moved over and almost trips me from behind. Stayed up so no harm.

Mile 11 9:53 Windy (Getting repetitive, isn’t it)
Mile 12 10:05 Crap, first mile over 10
Mile 13 9:57 This wind is getting very old very quickly
Mile 14 10:43 No one leading but me and I am sure a water break.
Mile 15 10:56 Way to close to an 11 minute mile but only ½ mile until the turn around

We hit the turn around at 15.5 miles and does it feel good to have the wind at our backs. My total pace here was 9:49. Also, I said this race was entirely on a beach but the sand was very firm. So problems with sand flying up but there was nothing to block the wind either. The wind did help keep us cooler, but it was way too hard to run good it. We turn around and head back and that lady just takes the lead and goes. I thought some bad thoughts about it but let it go quickly. At 16 ½ miles, the other guy I was running with says, “See, she is playing by different rules” as she build about 40 meters on us. It is this guy’s first marathon so I felt bad that he had to deal with so much wind in #1. He was from Houston.

Mile 16 9:45 Woo Hoo, wind at our backs

At mile 16.5, it starts to drizzle, by mile 17, it is a down pour! Now the sand was Gushy and very wet. It rained hard for about 20 minutes so we were fully soaked. It also caused some ruts in the sand where the water rushed to the Ocean. Did I mention we ran only 10 to 20 feet from the Ocean most of the time! That was pretty cool. Not much else to see, but the roar of the Ocean was quite loud.

Mile 17 9:28 Pouring Rain
Mile 18 9:16 Pouring Rain

I was running all by myself my now still seeing that lady about 100 meters ahead of me promising myself if I was close to her at the finish that she would be toast in a sprint to the line.

Mile 19 9:25
Mile 20 9:58

This is where I usually start to falter but I told myself not this time. I went out slow enough and I refused to let it get to me. Plus I was passing a few people here and there so that helped my confidence.

Mile 21 9:47
Mile 22 10:52 Water Break and a porto stop
Mile 23 10:42
Not sure what was going on here but I had to buckle down and suck it up. Only a 5K to go. Feeling confident still though.

Mile 24 10:02 Legs are tired now but the finish is calling my name.

At about 24.5 miles I see a guy in a yellow shirt a head of me. He is now my new goal. Catch him and pass him. Plus I can now see the finish tent off in the distance a whole 1.7 miles down the beach. I decide to pick up the pace and say screw whatever this will do to me tomorrow.

Mile 25 9:48 I am getting closer and closer to him!
Mile 26 9:04 My fasted mile of the race and I had caught the guy and moved past him quickly. I cross to the finish line and finish in 4:17:10. Not a fast time, but considering the 10 miles of wind in the face, I am happy. I end up in 43rd place. 1 place higher than at Icebreaker (I am glad I passed that guy) I also end up 6th in my age group but that means nothing.

I find Paul and he tells me about his race. He ends up running 3:37 and takes 10th overall and 2nd Place Masters. That was awesome. He received a plate as an award and we both also get a plate for being one of the first 50 out of state finishers in the Half and Full. I feel a little queasy but we decide to wade into the Ocean to cool the legs a little. The water was Fickin’ Cold! I went in about thigh deep and let the waves cool me off but after 5 minutes, it hurt and my feet were not getting numb quick enough.

After a quick shower at the Hotel it was back on the road to Austin. I feel better as we go along so we shall see what Sunday brings the second leg of the Heart of Texas Challenge. Weather looks cool so that is good. Plan: Go out slow and finish. No time goal at this time.

Friday, February 13, 2009

My First Impressions of Texas

This is my first ever visit to Texas. I have a cousin that moved near Dallas but never visited her. Here are some of my first impressions. I like it here. Right now it is much warmer than at home. They speak a lot more Spanish here than in Wisconsin. At least where I go in WI. They notice my Wisconsin "Accent" easily here. There are a lot of Long Horn Ranches all over from Austin to Lake Jackson. Everyone I have met so far is very friendly.

Paul and I drove this morning the 3 hours to stay here in Clute,TX for the Surfside Marathon tomorrow morning. When we got here, we drove to where the race starts to check out the beach. I was expecting something different. Every time I have ever gone to the coast, it seems like a resort area. Not here. No big hotels and the beach, no cool restaurants on the beach. But I can tell that this area was devastated pretty bad last year by Hurricane Ike. The beach was nice and we could drive on it so we drove down about 5 miles and turned around. I would estimate that about 90% of the houses where uninhabitable still. Some looked OK, but most were crooked, cracked, leaning, or just almost destroyed. This was pretty sad to see. Part of me wishes that they could have everything back to normal, but part of me hopes they do not come back and rebuild. It is in hurricane alley and this more than likely will happen again. In WI, this is like building a house in a known flood plain a living near a fault line and getting earthquakes. Mother Nature and more so, God, is very powerful and there is not much we as humans can do to prevent certain disasters.

Back to the race. The course seems like it will be fun. We run about 20 feet from the ocean almost the entire way. The sand is very firm and will give a slight cushion to help the muscles. There are some ocean/fish odors but nothing I think that will bother me though there are a few beached dolphins we saw. If the wind come the wrong direction, it could be a very hard race for half of it. But if the wind come off the ocean like today, it might be very refreshing a cool us off some.

Paul and I had a nice dinner at Giovanni's near here and we even met some people waiting that used to live in WI long ago and some that visit family there often. The recognized my accent right away. But it is fun to hear the Texas or southern accent. Lots of Y'alls and I guess I kind of like that.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

On My Way to Austin

I am at the airport right now waiting to board my flight to Austin. It is time for the Heart of Texas Challenge. My flight first goes from Milwaukee to Dallas and then after a 2 hour layover, I fly to Austin. The plan is for Paul to pick me up in Austin and then find an Italian Restaurant for some Carbo loading dinner, then to the hotel. Tomorrow, after Paul has a few conference calls in the morning early then we plan on driving the Austin Marathon Course to get a feel for it. I saw a video on their website of the course and it looks very hilly. I think I am in trouble as this is the second race in the Heart of Texas Challenge. After than, we are going to drive the 3 ½ hours or so to Surfside, TX (about 1 hour south of Houston) to the hotel we are staying at for the Surfside Marathon.

I still do not know what to expect. Well, for the first race I sort of do. I will do this as a normal marathon except I am going to go out a little slower this time. Plus the race is entirely on the sand of the beach so it will be a bit slower because of that. I do have my gel plan already in place though. I already drank 48 oz of Accererade today which is over 400 calories. I will do the same tomorrow. I have the lemonade flavor and let me tell you, this is not the best tasting stuff in the world. I guess I have had worse but I did have to force it down some.

I am anxious and excited for the races. I think the weather is supposed to be good but I will do more checking later. Paul and I are the only 2 from Wisconsin in the Surfside Marathon so I hope we represent well. Looking at past results, it looks like Paul could place pretty well. Good Luck to him!

On a different note, I was given a ticket to the Milwaukee Bucks game last night. Great seats too. We sat in the 5th row of the upper deck right at center court. I went with my friend Dale and we had fun. I like Pro Basketball but not nearly as much a College Basketball but I still enjoyed the game. Buck beat the Pacers so that was good. Bango (the Bucks mascot) even made a behind the back half court shot on his second attempt during on of the time outs. The halftime entertainment was really fun to watch. It was a Special Olympics 6 minute Basketball Game. They sure had a lot of fun out there and got real big cheers when they made shots.

It is time to board the flight. I hope to post again tomorrow if I can get Internet access, but if not, wish me luck; I think I am going to really need it on Sunday. Well, here goes nothing!

Update: I was unable to post this when I wrote it. It is not 10:30 PM and I made it to Austin. Paul picked me up and we went to an Italian Restaurant where I has some Shrimp in Fettuccine Alfredo. It was pretty good but a bit too buttery. It felt good to get off the plane. While taxiing in Dallas, I called home and Melissa instantly asked me if I had already seen any horses or cowboys. Not yet sweetie but I am sure I will.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Busy Day

Today I had quite a few things going on. There was work first. I again got in early as we have so much to do before we "Go Live" on the ERP system in a little less than 3 weeks. I have been working on this almost non stop and this will continue. I have a 5 hour layover in Dallas on Monday and I will be on line during that time getting ready to train others on Tuesday. I will be so relieved when we are live on the new system and running smooth. I need a breather at work.

After work, Mike and I went on a short run. Mike has been injured since he did The Goof a month ago. His knee is bothering him but he decided to run 4 miles with me today at an easy pace. We ran close to 8:30 pace which is super easy for him but not when his knee acts up. He was having trouble 2 miles in but since we were running the bridges loop, we were still 2 miles away from work. We finished and all is well.

After I returned to work, I went to our tool room to cut out my daughter's Pine Wood Derby Car. Since she is only 7 y/o so she isn't quite old enough to use band saws and belt sanders and disk sanders. So she told me the basic design she wanted and I cut it out and added some weights to it to make it as heavy as allowed. Now there is sanding to do and then painting. I told her I would have it ready for her to sand and paint before I left for Texas. Weigh in is next Tuesday (17th) so she will have to have it completely painted by the time I get home. I am guessing it will be pink a/o purple and may even have a Hannah Montana sticker or 2 on it. Now that will be a car to fear!!! I will post a picture of it when we are done with it.

I also stopped at Wheel & Sprocket on the way home. They had the stuff I needed to buy for the marathon that I was recommended to try. Here is what it is. 400 Calories of Accelerade 2 days before the race. Another 400 calories of Accelerade 1 day before the race as well as a carbo loading dinner both nights. Then on race day, take an AccelGel 1/2 hour before the race and 1 every 45 minutes throughout the race. We will see how well this works.

I have been trying to resist looking at the weather this far before the race as it always changes but it looks like lows at night of low 50's and highs in the afternoon of 65 to 70 (hopefully I am long done before the high of the day otherwise it was a very sucky race). Low chances of rain but too far away to know for sure. It will be nice to get in warmer temps but as for running, I like it colder, Mid 40's would be perfect. I will take what I get though. I have run in the hot (Chicago 07), cold (Grand Rapids 07) and very wet (Twin Cities 08) and I live in Wisconsin where we have all kinds of weather. The big guy decides the weather so why worry about it.

That is all for now. No running tomorrow and then an easy run n Wednesday before the flight on Thursday. Let's hope the plan comes together.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

A Little This, a Little That

It has been a few days since my last post so here is an update.

Thursday & Friday: Left to go to Wisconsin Dells with the family to stay at The Wilderness Lodge. This was a fun place. They have 3 indoor waterparks with a wave pool, many slides, a lazy river, and lots of kiddie water stuff for the little ones. Melissa is a thrill seeker and wanted to go down every slide she could find. While she cannot quite fully swim on her own, she is almost there but none of the slides let you fully underwater. The other 2 princesses were quite apprehensive but warmed up to the water the next day. They also have a dry play area for kids to crawl around in a shoot balls at each other. I had a lot of fun here. You get to collect there foam balls and the use air guns to shoot them at other people. I had quite a few battles with other people that happen to be there as well.

Saturday: I met up with Paul at Pettit for a 2 hour run. We should have been running outside as a warm front came through and it was in the mid 30's by 7:00 but we decided to just stay indoors and pound out the laps. We started slowly at over a 9:00 pace. We both felt very sluggish and after 8 miles said we were only going 10 miles total. We picked it up the final mile and ran about a 7:20. Final average pace was about 8:46 so I am OK with it. This is still faster than I plan on running the Surfside Marathon next Saturday.

That night, I met up with Chaz and Cherylynn to go see the local band "Cherry Pie" once again. Chaz was tired as he had just run the John Dick Memorial Crusty 50K run earlier that day. Yes, 50K, 31 miles. And it was a trail run with slushy snow. Chaz took 3rd place over all and 1st place masters. He has done this race 3 times now. I do not know which is crazier, a 50K race in slushy snow or a marathon followed by a marathon the next day. I guess I just hang with crazy people.

Oh, one more thing. There is a radio station in town that does a quiz that they can "You Can't Win". It is a quiz that you have to get 5 questions correct in a row but they are extremely difficult questions, but they will ask the same questions over and over again. Well, one of the questions many years ago was "In which city can you find the corner of This Way and That Way?" The answer was Lake Jackson, TX which happens to be only a few miles from where the Surfside Marathon starts. maybe I will have to get Paul to stop and take a picture there.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Cold! Good or Bad?

Tonight was another easy 5 mile run. I took another route around town today that included only minor hills so I was able to run it at a pace of 8:33, quite a bit faster than I plan on running during the races. I just heard from Art about Austin and we will be running slow at first. The first 17 miles or so are a lot uphill and the final 8 or so miles are either downhill or flat. We will just have to reach the peak and then roll the rest of the way.

It was cold again tonight on the run. 8 F. But I hear it is cold everywhere here in the US. My parents are in Panama City Beach for their 2 month vacation in a Condo they rent right on the beach. I looked at the weather there this morning at it was 34 F. Why leave Wisconsin? It should get warmer there over the next few days though. And it should be a lot warmer in Texas as well. I was telling some friends that if I had my way, the temps would be 45 from 8AM to Noon, and then jump to 80 after Noon for both days. I know that sounds cold to a lot of you, but I seem to run my best in the colder mid 40's temps. In my most recent good marathon in 2007, it was mid 30's at the start and got top mid 40's by the end. I loved it!

It should warm up here soon. We are expected to reach 40 by Saturday. Tomorrow afternoon though it will be 84 in the Waterpark so all will be good.

Keep up the great running everyone. Winter is going to start to go away soon and spring will bring great runs. I look forward to hearing all about your awesome training runs and races.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

10 Days 10 Hours

It was cold once again today. But do you ever notice that once you get used to the cold, it doesn't seem to feel as cold as it did before? I get this every spring and fall. 50 F in the fall is MUCH colder than 50 F in the spring. Now I said it was cold today. When I ran this afternoon, it was about 14 F with a windchill of 1. But is didn't seem as cold as it did just a month or so ago. By the time I was done with my easy run, I had sweat on my forehead and I didn't feel cold at all. Had I stayed outside for more than a few minutes cooling off, then, yeah, it would have felt freakin' cold, but I go inside close to right away.

I did do another 5 miles today at an easy pace. Ended up being 8:40 pace. I did not get a chance to run yesterday so I was really anxious to get out there today.

It is only 10 days and 10 hours until The Heart of Texas Challenge. To remind you, The Heart of Texas Challenge will be Paul and I running The Surfside Marathon on February 14th, followed by the Austin Marathon the next day, a mere 23 hours after we start the first one. You might be asking if I am crazy. The answer to that is Yes. You might be asking if I am stupid. The answer to that is No (I think). You might be asking if I can actually do it. The answer to that is yet to be determined. We will see. I have done the Disney World Goofy Challenge once 2 years ago. That was running a half marathon on Saturday followed by a full marathon the next day. It was hot and humid for that one but I still don't know what the weather will be in 11 days. The one advantage to this challenge is the order of the races. The first race (Surfside) is run completely on a beach. It is a hard packed sand beach that you can drive a car on so it isn't super soft that would kill legs. This should give the legs a little break before marathon #2. Also in the second marathon, Paul and I will be meeting some more friends who will be running. Larry and Art will also be there and more than likely, I will begin to run with Art and take it easy to start. Though reading Art's blog recently, he looks like he has been on an "Ivan Drago" style workout regimen and might be in great shape and ready to smoke me. Again, we will see.

Thursday should be fun. I plan on taking the Princesses to Wisconsin Dells. If you do not know where or what that is, it is a big Tourist place here in Wisconsin and is also known as "The Waterpark Capital of the World" They have waterparks everywhere. I think if you build a hotel there, you must be required to build a waterpark. The place we are going to is called the Wilderness Lodge and they had 3 indoor waterpark areas totaling 260,000 square feet of waterparks and an additional dry play area. I am hoping for some good family bonding experience. Plus I love waterparks, especially in the winter.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Josh Cox

No running today but some running news. I decided since I still had my wristband on today from the Great Lakes MultiSport and Running Expo, that I would take Melissa and try to get some notes down on what I should take before the marathon and during the marathon. I went to the InStep exhibit but they guy I spoke to was not there today.

Melissa was able to have some fun though. They had a little area where kids could race about 40 meters or so and be timed, so Melissa was all over this. She raced it and was given a certificate. This was a little of a humorous certificate. It says "Congratulations Melissa for running the Marathon Dreams. You ran a 2 Hr. 52 Min. MARATHON!" Wow is she fast!!! I think they take her time and the distance and multiply it as if she ran that pace for an entire marathon. She had so much fun that she ran the race another 6 or so times. She even had to run one more as they were taking the exhibit down.

While she was running the first through 4th times, I looked over at the stage where the speakers had their talks and noticed that Josh Cox was sitting there talking to a few people but not a crowd around at all. He had just did a talk about 1 hour earlier. Josh Cox ran in the Olympic Marathon Trials and just 2 weeks ago, ran a American Record for 50K in mere 2 Hr. 47 Min. Not bad for 31 miles of work. I talked with him for a few minutes about all sorts of stuff. He is a real nice and gracious guy. He even autographed a picture for Melissa.