Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Door County

I made a decision today. Nothing momentous or earth changing, but it is a running decision. I decided that I am going to run a half marathon this weekend. It is the Door County Half Marathon in Door County, WI. If you look at Wisconsin like as if it were a hand, Door County is the thumb. The peninsula jetting out into Lake Michigan. Door County is a wonderful place and many people call it the Cape Cod of the Midwest. I don't know what Cape Cod is like but is must be like Door County. Lots of little towns with lots of shops and lots of parks. This race will take place entirely in Peninsula State Park. I love this park and really love camping there. It will be a hilly race as there are many bluffs etc. Probably an elevation change of 250 feet of so but you go up and down it a couple times in the race. I don't really plan on racing it all out and I am not tapering for it at all, but on race day, most likely the competitive person inside me will let loose and I will try to get the best time I can. Most likely it will be around 1:43 to 1:45ish. That is a good 8:00 pace or slightly faster. Not sure what the hills will do to me.

Last night I ran 5 miles easy at 8:21 pace and then quickly cleaned up because Mike and I went to the Milwaukee Brewers game. We got there in the top of the 2nd and had really good seat. 1st row of the second deck in shallow right field. The game was good and tied going into the bottom of the 8th but the Brew Crew came out and scored 5 in the bottom of the 8th to pull ahead for good and won 10 to 5. I think I ate too many peanuts and I actually drank not one, but 2 beers. Mike was quite shocked. We had to walk back to the car in a light rain but since we parked so far away, we got a bit wet. I am quite frugal when it comes to things, so we parked on the street for free about 1 mile away and walked it instead of paying $12 to park 1/2 mile away in the parking lots.

Today I ate too much at lunch so I need to burn some of it off so I think I will do a slow easy 5 1/2 miles. It is beautiful outside today, a but cool at 50F but sunny. Art is up from Texas so I think i will bug him to see if you will hit a few miles with me.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

A Wet but Fun Weekend

It has been a really rainy weekend here. It rained later in the morning on Saturday and all afternoon, all evening, all night, all Sunday morning, and most of Sunday afternoon. Did that stop me from having fun or running . . .nope! Though I didn't run in the rain . . . too much that is.

Paul came over on Saturday morning for a long easy run. We left at about 6:30AM and it was about 65F. We hit the Muskego Trail and were planning an out to the end of the trail and back. At about 7 1/2 miles at really easy pace, I sensed some rain about to come. Sure enough, it started but not too hard. It stopped soon, about 1 mile later, and we continued on. I was feeling quite tired on the run, maybe it was the wind, maybe it was the harder run on Thursday and Friday, maybe I was just an off day bit I kept slowing down. With 2 miles to go, it started raining again. A little harder this time but not anywhere near pouring. We finished the 15 1/2 miles at an average of 9:11, much slower that we usually run, but Paul is running a The Wisconsin Marathon next weekend so he was OK with the slow pace.

There was a track meet going on at the school 200 meters from my home and the rain came hard later in the morning. I felt bad for the kids as they had to scramble to find shelter not once, but twice.

That afternoon and evening, I went to a friends wedding. It was pretty fun and I sat with some people I did not know but we all had a blast at the table. I am not a fashion guru and I am sure I don't dress perfectly all the time, but some guy just made me laugh. Maybe I am out of date on fashion or I just don't know any better, but I saw one guy there who from the waist up looked very nice. A suit and tie, very clean. Then you look down and not only was he wearing sandals, but he had on Capri dress pants. I didn't even know those existed and frankly, I think they should just go away. Just my opinion.

When you have princesses at home like me, you get to do things that most normal adults don't think of doing or normally do. Some of you can relate. Well, today was one of those day. I took Melissa (7y/o) to go see the Hannah Montana movie. Now since I do get to do some of these things that most normal adults don't do, I get to experience good things they don't. This movie was one of those things. It was a good movie. The music was OK and the plot was pretty good. I won't go as far as recommending this to all my adult friends, but I won't say to avoid it also. Disney is making some really good movies for the Tweens out there. The High School Musical movies are like this as well.

I also ready that Disney is coming out with a new animated Princess movie this fall. It is called "The Princess and the Frog". I am surprised it took this long but they are finally going to have a black princess named Tiana. The preview of the plot sounds like it is going to be another Disney Masterpiece.

Hope you had a good weekend.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

A Good Run and Idiot Drivers

Today when I started my run, I anticipated running one thing but ended up running a completely different type of run. It was a nice day, partly cloudy, some wind but not too much, and 59F out. I decided after work to go for an easy 7 miles. I wanted to complete the 7 miles in under 1 hour which is about 8:35 pace or so. I started out at what felt like an easy pace but the first mile was 8:05 and the second mile was 8:08. They seemed so easy that I decided to try to keep up the pace. By the time I turned around in the out and back run, I was averaging 8:11 and still felt good so I picked it up. The final 3 miles were all under 8:00 with the last mile being 7:25. I pushed that last mile to try to get my overall pace under 8:00 for the run which I was able to do. I finished in 55:27 for a 7:55 pace. It was good.

To switch gears here, I wanted to comment on certain people who drive like idiots out there. I have seen more and more people texting while driving. Do you people have a death wish for you and all others on the road. Every time I seem someone crossing the center line or the fog line, I instantly think they are texting or playing with their cell phones and 95% of the time, I am correct. Don't these people realize they are all over the road. It is one thing to do this and maybe kill yourself, but more than likely you will take someone else out with you.

Then there was this guy I saw yesterday on the way home from work. I was following him on a 2 lane road and was about to pass him when I saw his back tires. His driver side back tire was completely angled into the car. The tires seriously looked like this / I totally backed off thinking the axle was going to give at any second and the tire come flying off. Just be safe out there everyone.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Ka-rappy Weather

Good News, it didn't snow all that much yesterday. I woke up to no snow on the ground but it snow was coming down. They were big flakes but the ground was too warm and they all melted upon hitting. That was good since I am ready for no more snow for at least 6 months.

Yesterday though, was crappy weather through and through. It was cold, windy, and rainy. The hat trick of crappy weather. Did it stop me from running? Almost. After work, I looked outside and came very close to not going out. It was raining a little, it was windy, and it was about 39F as well. I knew I was not running on Wednesday (today) so I forced myself out in it for a 5 1/2 mile run. Once I stepped outside, I thought about going right back in as the wind and light rain hit me and it was cold. I made a conscience decision to just get going and so I did. After about a 1/2 mile, the rain stopped and it was bearable. then at about 3 miles, it started again. By the end, it was coming down somewhat good. I had planned on going easy but since I just wanted to get done, i ran it a bit faster and did it at an average of 8:15 per mile. It was all good.

My friend Mike and I are planning on going to a Milwaukee Brewers game next week. We can get half priced tickets and we try to go to at least one game per year. We missed out last year when we had tickets to a playoff game but could not attend as we were in Minneapolis for the Twin Cities Marathon. I am looking forward to the game as when we go, it is a good time of just talking and watching sports in a wonderful atmosphere. If you are ever in Milwaukee, I recommend a game at Miller Park. It is a very nice stadium and very comfortable to watch a game at. I just wish the Brewers were doing better this year. At least they won tonight.

Mike is a Graphic Artist and has created a logo for me for the Kids Marathon I am organizing. He just sent me the first draft and I must say, it looks pretty cool. I will share it with you all when we finalize it. It will be on all the forms we send out as well as on the Tshirts. I am not sure if I can get the logo on the medal we will present, but perhaps we can make it work.

Monday, April 20, 2009

The "S" Word

The weather forecast calls for snow tonight. Yes, SNOW. It is April 20th for crying out loud! I ran a 5k on Saturday and I thought it was warm and it was in the mid 60's. We are suppose to get 1-2 inches and it will be gone in a day or so, but COME ON! I remember once in college, on May 11th or so, it snowed like 8 or 9 inches. Well, that is weather for you in deal ole Wisconsin.

on Sunday morning, I got up early for a semi long run. I almost let my head hit the pillow and fall back asleep until church time, but I somehow forced myself up and out the door. It was damp but not raining so I headed to the local high school track and did laps. To keep it slightly less boring than watching paint dry, I change lanes every lap. I start in lane 8 and proceed 1 lane per lap down to lane 1, repeat lane 1 and back to lane 8. I continue this for 36 laps then hop the fence 1 last time and finish up the 10 miles a few hundred meters later. I ended running at 8:50 pace, not fast but still a little tired from the 5K the day before.

Today I ran a tempo of 4 miles at 7:56 pace. Miles 1 and 4 were into the wind so it made it slightly harder but a good run none-the-less.

I was able to watch updates from the Boston Marathon today. I watched the Runner's World Update Blog which updated every minute. I found myself really getting into it at my desk today rooting on Kara Goucher and Ryan Hall. Both ran extremely well but not good enough for the win. they both took 3rd. I saw the end of the race on Youtube tonight and it looked extremely exciting. Wish I could have seen it live. As most of you know, my goal and dream someday is to run The Boston Marathon, only 1 minor problem, I still need to drop a lot of time to qualify. Well, that is why I still train.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Gary's Gallop 5K

Today I ran the 5K race. The race was called Gary's Gallop and was named after the President of Wisconsin Lutheran College who died unexpectedly 6 years ago. It is a nice little 5 K with 200 or so runners and walkers and then also a 1 lap around the track kids race.

I got there about 45 minutes before the start, signed up and then did a 2 mile warm up. During the warm up, I saw some friends I didn't know were running. Dana and Chris had just done 10 miles and stopped 30 minutes before the race and planned on running. I knew these 2 guys would run a lot faster than me even with running 10 miles beforehand. They are both tuning up for marathons in the next few weeks.

As I said before, my goal is to try to break 20 minutes though I know the course is a little difficult with a few hills. The gun goes off and I start at a nice pace knowing not to go too fast. There are a lot of people in front of me but local 5K's are known for people going out way to fast. The first mile has a lot of downhill so i try to use that without wearing out my legs. Mile 1 - 6:27, right at 20:00 pace. I pass many people around this time and continue to do so as I climb up the hill during mile 2. I can feel my pace slowing but continue to charge ahead. Mile 2 - 6:54. Now I know I am in trouble if I want to break 20 minutes so I begin to focus on the guys ahead of me to see if I can beat them. I pass 2 before we turn into the sports complex area and I see a couple more I think I can catch.

The race has a nice finish where you enter the track and run a full lap on the track and at the top of the turn, you turn onto the football field and finish at the 50 yard line. I enter the track and I see 2 more people I think I can beat. With 300 Meters to go, I fly past one of them without giving him a chance to respond. Then I catch another guy with 75 meters to go and pass him. Thy looked like they could be in my age group so I wanted to make sure I passed them. Once on the football field, there was a lady 5 meters in front of me. If I really wanted to, I could have passed her but I had the other guy beat, so I laid a little back and finished right behind her. I didn't want to look like jerk for passing a woman right at the tape plus she wouldn't be in my age/gender category anyways. We both finish with a time of 20:43. I end up in 18th place overall. My friends Dana and Chris to extremely well with Dana winning the entire race in 16 something and Chris taking 4th in 18:40.

No results were posted so I had to wait to see if I won any award in my age group. To my surprise, I was 1st in my age group and got a little medal. It is not breaking 20 minutes but it was nice to get the award. About 45 minutes after the race, there is a Kids race that is 1 lap around the track. My 3 princesses came and ran their race and all received a ribbon for finishing. The oldest was pretty far up front as well.

I was able to check the track and facilities out good because this is where the Kids Marathon I am organizing is going to take place. The college is being extremely generous in letting us use the facilities, track, parking lots, portolets, etc. all for no charge. Speaking with the athletic director, he said he is going to try to recruit some volunteers as well. I think his daughter is going to participate.

So all in all a good day. I hope my friend Mark did well in his marathon today. I was thinking about you buddy while I was racing!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Art Connoisseur, I Think Not

I have now had 2 days in a row off from running. I have been a little busy recently so I never got the chance to get out there. I did run 5 miles on Tuesday night after work. I went home for dinner and then back to work. Then at 9PM, I went out for an easy 5 miler. I like running at night, it seems more peaceful out and the traffic is less. Not seeing potholes isn't the greatest thing, but I still like it.

It has been extremely busy for me at work but I was able to get away for 1 day on Wednesday. I decided to take the princesses and a friend to the Milwaukee Art Museum. I know some people will accuse me of being and uninformed, unintelligent, non-classy guy, but there are some stuff in there that just makes me shake my head and wonder who would pay for or like some of this garbage. I can appreciate a nice painting and nice sculptures. I can see the beauty in many of the things they have there, but some stuff, come on! There was a chair next to the wall with another chair slightly raised attached to the wall. What was this suppose to represent? The biggest piece of garbage to me was 3 big canvass sheets next to each other all in a solid color. One was blue, one was yellow, and one was red. I know, I know, the primary colors but why display this? Who actually goes up to this and looks at it and ponders the meaning? I think the artist just had extra colors laying around and wasted them on some old canvasses and is laughing their butt off at how much $$ they took the museum for. My philosophy is that is I could have done it, it isn't classic art. And I could have easily made that 3 color thing. "But you didn't do it and that artist did." Yes, because I think it is a waste.

OK, enough. That is my opinion. I don't dislike art, I just dislike useless garbage art. the one thing that is actually really cool about the Art Museum in Milwaukee is the building itself. It was designed by a guy named Calatrava and it pretty neat. It is shaped like a boat and has wings (or sails) that rise up in the day to show a really neat display. Here is a picture of it. We watched the wings (sails) go up and it takes about 3 minutes of slowly raising. A really cool looking building right on the lake front, finally Milwaukee does another good thing along the lake, this and Summerfest.

I want to wish my buddy Mark good luck this weekend. He is running the Frisco 50 Marathon in Missouri on Saturday. His goal is to break 4 hours and has trained hard to do so. Good Luck Mark! Keep you head in the race! I, on the other hand, will be running a long and grueling 5K this weekend. OK, I am kidding, it will be over before I know it. My goal is to break 20 minutes but there is a good hill right in the middle. We shall see.

Good luck to all of you who are running Boston on Monday. I shall be with you . . . someday.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Crappy Weather

The day started today with some pretty nice weather. It was sunny and not too cold for Mid-April, but then it changed by mid morning. First it cloudy and then in the afternoon some rain came. Since I had slacked off all weekend on running, I knew I needed to get out there for some miles. After work, it was raining some, windy, and cold and there I was outside in my shorts and 2 Tshirts out for a good 5 miler on the Hills Loop. The first mile it felt really crappy with the wind in my face and light rain making it feel even colder. I found myself running faster with the thought that I would finish faster. Not a good idea on an easy run day. After 1 mile, I knew I was out too fast so I slowed it down. After 2 miles, it finally stopped raining. After 4 miles, it started raining again. After 4 1/2 miles, I noticed some large snow flakes falling. Good thing that only lasted a short time. I finished at an average pace of 8:35 but it didn't feel good at all. I was glad it was over.

I made sure I got inside and warmed up quickly as I feel like a cold is coming on. I woke up with a slightly sore throat and that came back in the afternoon. I bought some "Airborne" to help it maybe go away but only time will tell. I have been pretty lucky with colds, fevers, and the flu this past year so know on wood so hopefully that will continue. With having the Princesses at home, they have shared all sorts of germs over the years so I think my immune system is pretty strong. I hope so!

Tomorrow morning I have a breakfast meeting with a potential sponsor for the Kids Marathon I an organizing. He is enthusiastic about helping out and loves the idea. Let's hope we can come up with a good partnership that can help defer the costs for the Kids. I have a good feeling about this so my fingers are crossed.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Good Run then Slacked Off

I have been taking it easy his week and not running that often. I was going to wake up early this morning and do 10 miles but after the alarm went off and 2 snoozes later, I turned it off and had some more shut eye. I slacked off! I know that is not good, but I don't do it too often.

I did have a good run on Friday afternoon. Since I am planning on running a 5K next Saturday and I haven't had much (if any) speed work recently, I wanted to do a little track workout. So off to Waterford High School I went and climbed the fence for a good track workout. The plan was to run 6 intervals of 800 meters each. That adds up to 3 miles, just under a 5K and I wanted to run them at 5K pace. I also decided not to run them like a Yasso 800, but take as much rest as my body wanted. I ended up taking a 1/2 lap job followed by a 1/2 lap walk as a rest.

My 5K goal next Saturday is to break 20:00 so that equated to about 3:13 for 800 meters. It was quite windy so I was unsure how it would go. the wind was straight down the front stretch so I would most likely struggle in the middle and right at the end of each 800 and that is exactly the way it went. The first 800 was a but slow at 3:20 but I usually run the first one slower. The second was 3:12 followed by a 3:10, 3:04 and a 3:03. the last one I usually put some extra effort into. I pushed hard but felt my legs feeling quite tired. to my surprise, I finished in 2:54 and this made me very happy. 6 miles in and off to home where I slacked on Saturday. Good and Bad I guess.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Windy But Good 4

I ran a great 4 miles yesterday. It was windy and about 45F out and my legs were a little tired at the start. I was going to run the Bridges Loop 4 miler. After about 1 mile, I was feeling good. I knew I was at an OK pace but I didn't look at my watch. The first mile was 3/4 with the wind so i figured that was some of the reason I felt good. The next 2 miles would be the real test into the wind. I hit the second bridge with 1 mile to go and decided to see where I was at. 24:01 right on 8:00 pace. I decided to try to keep up the pace and I knew the wind would be a little at my back for the final mile. I finished the last mile in 7:24 which made me feel great.

I am planning on running a 5K on the 18th so I want to get some speed in. My goal will be to break 20 minutes. I do not know if that is possible or not but I am going with that goal for now. I need to average 6:26 to break 20 so the last mile yesterday is still way slow. I guess we will have to wait and see.

Tonight is the funeral for my friend Karl and his son. I don't know what to expect. I have never been to the funeral for a child before but I hear they can be real sad. I plan on celebrating the life of Karl and his son tonight. He was a good man, a real shame his life was cut short. And his son was a real nice kid as well. Keep a prayer open for his wife and 2 kids who survived the crash if you could. Thank you.

Monday, April 6, 2009

A Few Shots of the Race

I didn't run today, but I did get some pictures from the race on Saturday.

Looks like I am in the lead group, doesn't it? No, this is about 2 1/2 miles into the race with plenty already ahead of us.

I think this is with about 5 1/2 miles to go. I am not doing too bad, I am in mid air (barely). Looks like I need a haircut.

Glad to finally be done. My legs have had it.

Looks like Paul has a huge lead here. Paul did really good in the race. 3:49:01 for 23rd place.

Chaz ran really smooth as well. He ran the last 4 miles in with a friend and both basically tied for 6th place in 3:14.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

A Few More Thoughts on The Trailbreaker Marathon

A few more thoughts on yesterday's marathon. While this was the 17th Trailbreaker Marathon, it was not held last year due to the director or others not being able to put time into it so it looked to me like there were new people running things. Hopefully they will take some advise and make some suggested changes to the race.

I know this is a low key race and did not cost much ($40 on race day) but most people I talked to agreed that they should have at least given a medal to the finishers. You heard that right, no medal to the finishers! No certificate of completion either. I guess I should be grateful for the long sleeve T-shirt I received (which is not bad though). I would have gladly paid an extra $10 to insure a medal at the finish.

Someone wrote 2 years ago on MarathonGuide.com that this marathon was a joke. And I can see why he/she would think that if you were looking for a top quality marathon. There were only 7 water stops on the entire course. Not enough if you ask me. There was no food available (except for some orange slices at one stop) and there was virtually no fans along the course. Maybe 2 or 3 out to the tower and then maybe a dozen at the tower. There were definitely more police at road crossings than fans and the police were very friendly so that helped. I knew this coming into the race so I was not surprised at what was there. I wasn't expecting a high quality marathon.

The after race area was poor as well. There was Popcorn to eat! Just what I want after 26.2 miles of running. There was cold water so that was a plus. But they had the festivities in a small (1 basketball court sized) gymnasium and they had a band playing WAY TOO LOUD!!! I couldn't stand it so I went back outside.

I don't want to complain too much here, just hopefully the people who run the race will make improvements is all. $40 isn't a lot for a marathon but they can improve. The course was safe and barely ran on any roads and only crossed a few streets so that was nice. It was also nice to have the bag drop, so I hope they don't lose those features.

Will I run this again? Depends if I need another long run at this time next year again and if the weather is good. If either of those is a "no", then I will not run it. If both are a "Yes", then I will see if a friend wants to join me and enjoy the scenery and not worry at all about running a good time while I do have a good time.

I hope I didn't sound too much like a complainer. Just want everyone to know what they are getting into if they run this race.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Race Report: Trailbreaker Marathon

Let me start by apologizing and explaining to you why I didn't tell I was running a marathon today. I am sorry I did not tell you recently of my intentions but I really didn't fully decide to run this until Thursday. I did hint that I was going to run this one a month or 2 ago but like I said, no decision until 2 days ago. Also, I did not "race" this run, I used it as a long training run. If I felt good at mile 18 to 20, then I would decide to pick it up for a time, otherwise it was just a long run.
The Trailbreaker Marathon took place in Waukesha, WI and started about 15 miles or so from my house. It is ranked by Marathon and Beyond as one of North America's 25 toughest marathons. For the most part, it is a pretty easy marathon except for miles 11 to 16, those are a different story.

I woke up at about 6AM, ate some oatmeal and then travelled to the starting area. I signed up for the race (Yes, signed up "Day of") and then met Chaz and Paul who were also running the race. It was sunny in the morning and the starting temperature was in the Mid 30's, I LOVE IT! Chaz's plan was to run 7 minute pace, Paul was to run with me for 2 miles or so and then take off and try to break 4 hours. My goal was to practice my marathon strategy of easy for 6 or so miles (Just over 9 minute pace) then pick it up.

The race starts and runs along the Fox River for a mile, very beautiful scenery, then a little sidewalk running and road running until we hit the Glacier Drumlin Trail at about mile 3. This trail is a paved bike trail easy to run. The first mile I ran a little fast (8:46) and then slowed it down some and was at an average pace of just over 9 through 7.

The race has under 200 people but there were plenty near me on the way out. I talked with a few guys who run lots of marathons and even are "Streak Runners", runners who run everyday. One guy had run over 9000 days in a row before he had surgery to stop his streak, the other was over 4000 I think. I stopped at mile 7 to use the facilities then continued on. Average pace now was 9:09, perfect. I now picked up the pace some. The trail now went uphill at railroad grade. The next 2 miles gained 200 feet. I ran these 2 miles under 9's.

A neat part of this race is that they have a bag drop at miles 10.5 and 16. This is mostly an out and back race except for the first 1.25 miles so we could get stuff from our bags twice. I put in my bag a banana, some AccelGel, Accelerade Drink, and an extra pair of shoe and sock (I will explain more later). I stopped and picked up my bottle of Accelerade and kept moving. A third of a mile past the bag drop is where this race get interesting and hard. We leave the comfort of the bike trail and start on the Ice Age trail, a grass, dirt, rocky, hilly trail.

The first 1/2 mile o the trail is wet but not too bad until we cross a little bridge, then we encounter about 200 meters of muddy, sloppy trail. I run as close to the edge of the trail as possible to avoid the major mud but there are bushed blocking my way. It gets a little dry for a few feet them gets muddy all over again. After 200 meters, the mud is done (until we come past it on the return trip). Now my shoes feel very heavy as they are full of mud on the bottom but my feet are still dry. I see the first place runner pass going the other way and I look at my watch to guesstimate how far back my friend Chaz is. I see him in about 5th or 6th and let him know he is about 2 1/2 minutes behind the leaders. I now enter the woods and the trail gets very tough. Lots of roots and rocks and leaves block them some. The hills prove challenging as we climb higher toward the signature spot of this marathon. I walk up some of these short hills as they are so steep, I don't want to waste energy to only save a few seconds. I see Paul pass me and wish him luck as he continues. I finally see the turn around which is at the top or a bunch of trail stairs (too steep so they built stairs into the hill), I walk up these stairs as it is very hard to run these, especially after 13.5 miles.

I reach the signature turnaround, but before I go back, I must climb it. It is a 40 foot observation tower. Everyone in the race must climb the tower and then come down and run back. Now I am on my way back down the hills, rocks, roots, leaves, etc. You really have to pay attention to the trail otherwise and sprained ankle is easy to come by. Plus other runners are coming toward you and the trail at times is narrow. My time up the stairs and up the tower, and back down slowed me to a 14:03 mile, that is how difficult this trail is. After this, my pace picks up down the hills and back to the bike trail I a look forward to the paved trail for stability and hopefully an increased comfortable pace. I have to run through the mud again (remember, I have extra shoes, I knew there was gong to be mud), and I get to the bike trail.

My legs took a real beating on the dirt trail and hills and they are tired. I am also very warm and sweating good so I decide to drop my long sleeve shirt at the bag drop when I get there and just run in a short sleeve shirt. Little did I know that I accidentally pinned my number in one corner to both shirts. I must have looked really funny doing a weird dance taking off both shirts, unpinning and re-pinning and getting my short sleeve back on. I stop at my bag and refill myself with AccelGel, eat half a banana, and grab my Accelerade bottle but decide my shoes are OK. A lady passes me at the bag drop and I run behind her for a few miles as no one else is close behind. I run the next 3 miles at under 9:30 even though my legs are tired and then the next 2 under 10. I begin to try to calculate a finishing time in my head but also remind myself this is a training run. The final 4 miles are over 10 but under 11 and I can't wait to finish.

A few runner have caught up to me and passed me and some I passed. I see the finish line ahead and finish in a time of 4:16:35. I think I ended up in 48th place, my 3rd top 50 place this year. It really helps when you run small races tp lace high :) I am happy with the time considering a few things. I was at 9:00 pace until we hit the difficult rocky, muddy, hilly trail. My only 2 miles over 11 minutes are the tower mile and the mile I stopped at the bag drop too long. It is the fastest of the 4 marathons I have run this year so that is also good. If I compare the times of my friends and how they normally do in a race, this is a race about 15 minutes slower than a normal race which would put me right near 4 hours and on a training run. Chaz ends up running 3:08 (or close to that) and takes 7th or 8th place overall. Paul finishes in 3:49.

It is funny all the things you think about during a race. I had lots of miles all by myself so the mind goes everywhere. I do recall thinking of my friend Karl and the good times we had. I also was thinking of a few of my Blog friends and reminding myself they were cheering me on, even if they didn't know I was running. I kept thinking how fun it would be if they were next to me running. Maybe someday I could meet some of you, that would be a lot of fun.

It is now in the evening and my legs are still tired (duh!) I have to wake up early as my oldest princess is singing in church with her class at the 8:00 service. It is always a treat to hear little voices singing. Hope your weekend is going great!
I will post some pictures from the race when I see them.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Busy, Busy, Busy

I have a lot going on right now. Very busy but it makes the days go by really fast. I have only run twice this week and I am not running today :( but I am planning on a nice long run tomorrow. I am meeting Chaz and Paul to run at 8 so it should be fun. I can't wait to tell you all about it. We have been planning this run for a little time but wanted to make sure the weather cooperated before we decided it was a go. Weather looks like it will be Mid 30's in the morning and make it to mid 40's by the afternoon with mostly cloudy skies. Light winds so it sounds like really nice running weather for a nice long one.

But as it is in Wisconsin, if you don't like the weather, just wait 5 minutes. Saturday night and Sunday shows more snow on the way. We just had some last weekend for crying out loud. It is all gone now, but I don't want more! Such is life here.

The planning for the Kids Marathon is still going on. We have a location for the final mile scheduled and it should be a great location. To avoid additional permit costs, I will need to re-route the course though. If I go on the road at all, I have to get permits. If I stay on the grounds of the stadium, I do not. So I think the race will begin with a lap on the track and end with a lap on the track. That is 1/2 mile of it and then I will add the other 1/2 mile in the parking lot and on some walking paths.

We have 4 total schools already interested in joining. That is awesome! The invitation was just sent out early this week so that is a great response. I think it was sent to ~20 total schools so i know more will be interested as well. We will be having a meeting early next week to work on the entry forms and nail down who is doing what so everything is covered. I am really excited for the kids on this program.

There was some good news yesterday from the hospital where my friends wife is at. This is the wife of my friend that was killed in the car crash last weekend. She was in critical condition but it looks like she has only a broken collar bone and other injuries but not any damage to her spinal column as originally feared. I guess every one's prayers are being answered! the other 2 kids are out of the hospital (or will be soon) but I do not know how they are taking the news about their Dad and brother. I feel so bad for them having to deal with this now and for the rest of their lives. The funeral date has not been set yet but it sounds like it will be near Easter time. As it turns out, the driver of the truck that hit them and the passengers were all illegals and are now in the process of being deported to wherever they came from.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

1 Full Year

Apparently it was cold here today, very, VERY COLD. It didn't feel all that cold but as I drove past local bank that displays the time and temperature, I then realized it was colder than I thought. The bank sign read -999F. I have now felt a new low in cold. This wasn't an April Fools joke because I have been told it was this way for a few days now. I didn't even know it could get that cold. It didn't seem that cold on my 4 mile run today. Who am I to argue though, I mean, what are the chances the bank display was wrong?!?!?!

Well, I have officially done something I did not think was possible. We all have our comfort foods or drinks out there. Maybe they are our guilty pleasures or just no good for us. Well, I love to drink soda. Coke was my drink and more so Cherry Coke. I used to drink way too much of it. Well, last winter and early spring, I had been gaining some weight that I did not like. I do not look overweight at all but I still would like to lose about 15 pounds. Hey, it is 15 less pounds to drag for 26.2 miles, right? I decided at the end of last March to drink less soda. I thought I would drop it to 1 or 2 per week. The first week went by and I had no sodas, then it was 2 weeks with no soda, then a month. It has now been a full year with no soda. Not a drop. I never said I wouldn't drink soda again, but after awhile, I just wanted to prove to myself I could do it for at least a year. I even joked that I would celebrate today by drinking a coke. Nope!

After about 1 1/2 months into the no soda thing, I had lost about 7 pounds. I have been even since then. I think I just started having other stuff to take the place of the sugar drop. Candy, Chocolate Milk, and hot chocolate come to mind. I have tried to lower all of those as well now. I guess I need to just eat a little less. It is weird what happens when you stop doing something you like so much. I had quite a few dreams over the year where I dreamt I was drinking soda. I even woke up thinking it really happened and had to convince myself I didn't. I have craved it as well from time to time, but that happens less often now. We will see how long I keep this up for.

Did any of you see the April Fool Joke on Runner's World today? It was about Usain Bolt being named the Rabbit of this years Boston Marathon. Theoretically, they say he could run a marathon in 1:08. No one seemed to fall for it, but some comments were pretty funny. One guy said "Will he be wearing a helmet?" I laughed at that one because that was what they tried to fool everyone with last year. Here is the link to that article. At work, we still joke about that one.