Sunday, May 31, 2009

Weekend and Wii

I had a busy weekend. It started out Saturday morning with a log run with Paul. We met at the start of the trail in Wind Lake and were going to run to Cty W and back. A little over 7 1/2 out. After a few miles into the run, my legs were feeling tired and still a little sore. Paul didn't mind running a little slower today so we stuck together. I was carrying the water so maybe that was a reason he stayed with me as well. We got to the turn around and were averaging 8:50 pace. The way back was a little of a struggle for me but I still had that motivation in me to do the best I could on this particular day. We finished up at an average of 8:53 for 15 1/2 miles but I really had to work those last 5 miles. I guess I am not upset with the pace. I would have preferred to have it down to 8:30 or lower but I will take it.

I also did a short 4 mile run this evening at the Church's Family Fun Run Night. I ran with a friend named Mark while pushing Katelynn in the Jog Stroller. She had fun as well always looking around and singing songs.

Saturday night I did something I have never done before. I know I must be one of the last people around to not have played Wii, but I finally have. I met with Greg at Dale's house as his wife was out of town so we had the place to ourselves. Greg brought over the Wii and we plugged it into the big screen TV and started playing Guitar Hero. Let me tell you, I am NOT a guitar hero. Greg put it on the "easy" level and I was booed off the stage in under 1 minute. I know it is not worth anything, but I did do pretty good on the "Beginner" level. I did do good playing Home Run Derby and completely surprised the guys when playing Bowling. I have never played this before but I kicked their butts in Bowling scoring a 229. It was very humorous watching their reactions every time I got a strike in the most unusual ways. I am not going to go out and buy a Wii all of a sudden now, but I certainly had a good time playing it for a night.

One last thing I noticed. I have SiteMeter on my blog so I can see how many people come to read my blog and where they come from. It is actually pretty cool to see where some of you come from all over the US and even in Europe so far. I did find that my busiest day ever on my blog was a day after I wrote about going to the Milwaukee Art Museum and commenting on my opinions of the Art I saw. Someone on a Twitter page linked my post to his page. I had Art people all over reading my site. I don't think they took kindly to my comments about "garbage Art" there. I can only imagine what their thoughts were and how they must feel how uncultured I am. It was and is my opinion but I find it funny anyways. I posted this over a month ago and I still get people linking from that page.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Back Up and Running

I finally went on a run today. I waited until just pat 8 PM and went for a 5 1/2 mile run. It felt OK but my left quad was still tight. I tried to stretch it good afterwards but it is still a bit sore. I usually don't feel this sore this far after a race so I think I may have pulled it a little. The good thing about the run tonight was that I felt very motivated. I almost wanted to run a 20 miler or do a hard track workout. I hope I can keep this feeling all summer as I train for the next marathon. Right now my goal is to run a 3:45 again like I did 1 1/2 years ago. I already have my "easy pace" runs faster than last summer.

I plan on running a nice long run this weekend with Paul. We are planning on going 15 so I hope I can keep a good pace up. I have no races planned for quite awhile. I most likely will still do some but I don't plan tapering for any of them. And some of them I plan on running a long run prior to the race and then seeing what I can do after that. I have done this before and I feel it is a good training technique. You do a nice long run of 12 to 15 miles and then enter a 5K or 10K and use the race to pick up the pace. The hard part is trying to time it right so you end your long "warm up" close enough to the start of the race so you don't have to sit around and cool off too much. Chaz and I did this once last year when we ran 15 miles before a 10K. I was a little slow this day and as I turned the corner 2 blocks from the start line, the gun went off and everyone was running right towards me. I kept running to the start line, turned around and then proceeded with the race. Anyways, just a technique I use sometimes.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

No Running Yet?

It is true. I have not run since the relay on Sunday yet. On Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday, my thighs were still quite sore. What gives?!?! I only ran a half marathon, not that it is something to short to not be sore at, but I ran over 4 minutes faster 3 weeks ago and felt fine (except for my foot). The legs are feeling better now so I will begin again tomorrow.

Today was a crappy rainy cold day. But that didn't stop my oldest daughters school from having their Olympic Day. I decided to take the day off of work and volunteer to help out. I was in charge of the kick ball area. Kids K through 4th grade were participating in this event to see how far they could kick a rubber ball. They all had fun even with the crappy weather. During their lunch time, I went to each of the classrooms to promote the Kid's Marathon. The kids seemed to like the idea and I hope they get their parents to sign them up. The younger kids had more questions and I think we will get more of them that the older ones in th and 7th grade. We will find out soon since the deadline is in a couple weeks. So far there were quite a few that had already turned in their forms and many more parents that told me that they will be signing up soon. I will definitely keep you all up to date on all the details of the event. I think the kids liked when I told them about all the raffle prizes we are going to give away at the final mile. So far we have the following as giveaways: A new pair of running shoes from a running store, a $100 gift certificate from another running store, and a signed baseball from the Milwaukee Brewers. We hope to get a whole bunch more and I have a few leads on some. After sign up is complete, I have a lot of emails and calls I will make to certain places.

On a lighter side, I did watch quite a few movies this past weekend. I went to Blockbuster to rent a movie and then bought 3 others from the "Pre-Viewed" section. So first we rented "Bedtime Stories". I liked this one. Keri Russell is my crush and has been for years so that helped but the story was nice as well. We then bought "Veggitales: The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything". I was in the room while this was on but didn't pay too much attention to it. It looked cute and the princesses liked it so I give it a good buy status. We also bought "Bolt". We watched this today but I was tired and fell asleep while watching. It is a Disney Movie so I assume it is good but I can't comment on. the final movie I bought was "Fireproof". This has Kurt Cameron in it, yes, Cameron from Growing Pains fame. It is a movie about a firefighter who is having trouble with his marriage. I recommend this one, a nice touching and moving story.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Race Report - Madison Marathon 2-Person Relay

I woke up bright and early, actually it wasn't even bright yet on Sunday morning to go to Madison. It was a drive of a little over 1 hour and we had to pick up Chaz and Cherylynn. We go to Madison with time to spare, Laura found us and we got our packets and off to the start line we went.

Chaz and I were running the 2 person relay (each of us running a half marathon), Paul was running the full, and Cherylynn was running the quarter marathon. She would have done the half like last year, but she has a problem with her heal so she didn't want to go to far.

The horn goes off and Chaz takes off and I walk to the car. I am going to drive to the half marathon point and wait for him. I take an easy drive and crank so tunes to get me pumped in the car, find a parking spot, get ready with the the items I need (band aids, Vaseline, new singlet, shoes, etc.). I walk the 2 blocks from where I parked, did a little warm up and waiting for Chaz to show up. Chaz comes flying around the corner and I get the chip in 1:24:34, right about where I expected him. What I did not expect was tat we were the first place relay team, both 2 person AND 4 person. I know that I am going to be the slower runner by a lot but I take off and try to do my best.

I begin to be passed by other marathoners but no relays at first. Remember, Chaz ran close to 6:30 pace and I was starting out at close to 7:45. I noticed a funny thing about 1/2 mile in. A guy on a bike in following me and also next to me. Turns out he is an official and is in charge of being with the first place 2 person relay team. I felt kind of important or something. He really didn't get in the way or bother me, and it was nice when he told me what was coming up. He would radio in my position every mile mark. I knew it wasn't going to last but I was hoping. At about mile 18, the first place 4 person relay passed me. I was still running good for me and averaging about 7:45's through 7 miles for me and over most of the hills. It was sunny and a little warm, but still no problems. I reach the mile 21 water stop and take a short walk while downing some AccelGel. As I leave the water stop area, I see the guy on the bike a bit a head of me and following someone else. Guess I was passed.

It is not time for me to start picking up the pace to under 7:30's but my legs were just not up to it. I keep the next few miles under 8:00 still but can't pick it up. I see a guy I was talking to at the relay exchange point pass me at about 22 1/2 miles, wish him luck and now I know I am in 3rd place for the 2 person relay. Mile 11 for me creeps over 8:00 and I begin to feel the struggle. At mile 23 1/2, I get passed by another relay but I did not know if it was a 2 person or 4 person. This part of the course is very beautiful as we run on a bike path along side Lake Monona. I kept slowing some but not because of the sights. Miles 12 & 13 slipped all the way to the 8:40's which was a disappointment for me. At mile 25, the first place woman passed me and I tried to stay with her, but no deal.

Finally I get to the finish line and we finish as a team in a time of 3:09:03. After some results check, we end up in 4th place. Top 3 teams get plaques, so no luck there. My time ends up being 1:44:18 (7:57 pace), far off what I ran 3 weeks ago but that is what you get with an off day. Turns out the winning team was 3:01:29, 2nd place was 3:02:11, 3rd place was 3:04:03. So I needed to run 5 minutes faster to get that 3rd place spot and that would have been a PR for me by 40 seconds or so. I am disappointed by my finish, but I still think I didn't do too bad. I did not have a complete meltdown at the end but I did lose close to 3 minutes in the last 2 miles. Here is a funny thing. If Chaz and I had entered the 4 person repay, we would have ended up in 2nd place. Even the 5th place 2 person relay team beat the the 2nd place 2 person relay.

Now it is time to start the main training for the fall marathon. Time to increase the miles and intensity of the hard workouts.

Paul ended up running another PR at Madison, he ran a 3:33:31. Now he is only 2:32 away from Boston Qualifying. He will be running again in 2 weeks so maybe then. 2 weeks is no problem for him, remember, he ran the Green Bay Marathon last weekend as well. Cherylynn did the quarter marathon in close to 59 minutes. She was happy with that time considering her heal problem.

On another note, my Alma mater track team, UW-Oshkosh, won the Division 3 Track Championships over the weekend. It was a little of a surprise but all things came together to make it happen. Willy Kaul won the 10,000 and also took 4th in the 5000. Tony Baker was seeded 9th in the Discus but pulled off the Win to get valuable team points. Oshkosh ended up winning by 6 points for their first outdoor track championship. Congratulations Titans!

Friday, May 22, 2009

The Weekend is Here

I did my last run before the marathon relay this weekend. I woke up and was out running by 5:45Am and went to the local track. It is only 1/4 mile away and then I hop the fence and do laps. I ended up running 4 miles in 35:00 for an nice easy run. I am resting up now for the race on Sunday.

Laura has agreed to pick up our packets on Saturday and we will be meeting her on Sunday morning at the Start area. Paul will be picking me up at 4:45AM and the we will pick up Chaz and Cherylynn before head off to Madison. The weather is looking good. Sunny which isn't the best but mid 50's at the start and Mid 60's by the end, a bit warm but certainly not hot. Chaz and I have decided that he will run e fist leg and i will run the second mainly to keep Chaz from running in too much traffic as he would have to do if I started. We will be running as Team InStep and I was able to pick up my new running singlet from InStep today. InStep is a running and walking store locally that also does rehab. It is a great store and Chaz has run for their team for awhile now. While I am not up to the top times on the team, they don't fully mind and just want the exposure. My friend Chris is a part owner of the store and InStep has also donated stuff for the Kid's Marathon I am organizing.

So now it is time to concentrate on a good time in Madison. my goal is the run the half marathon portion of our relay in under 1:40. Our team goal would be sub 3:05 then. So we will all have a good time in Madison. So in review, Paul and Laura are running the full, Chaz and I in the 2 person relay, and Cherylynn in the Quarter Marathon. Yes, the Quarter Marathon, they actually have that event which is quite original I think.

Good Luck to all of you running this weekend! And a Happy Memorial Day to all the Veterans out there. My sincerest thank you to all our men and women who support and protect us everyday.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

100th Post

I am going to be completely unorigional here but you can learn a few things about me if you were interested. This is my 100th post on my blog so I am respectfully stealing this idea from Melanie who lovingly stole it from Stephanie who stole it from her sister who stole it from . . . The list goes on and on!

So with no further references, here are 100 unrelated things about Bill:

1 I graduated from Brookfield East High School in WI
2 I graduated from the University of Wisconsin at Oshkosh
3 I received a Bachelor's Degree in Business Operations Management
4 I ran 4 years on the Track team in High School and in College
5 I ran 2 years on the Cross Country Team in College
6 In High School, I was Conference and Regional Champ in the 800M senior year
7 We used to do a race in practice called "The T-Shirt Relays", that was a lot of fun.
8 The highest I ever place at the conference meet in college was 5th in the 600M
9 After college I joined the Wisconsin Track Club
10 That is where I met my friend Andrew who lives in near Reading, England
11 In 1994, we both PR'ed in the 800 in the same race at Iowa State U
12 Andrew beat me
13 My PR for 800M is 1:56.5
14 My PR for a 5K is 16:56 (On the track)
15 My marathon PR is 3:40:30
16 I have run 17 marathons to date
17 I would like to someday be a member of the 50 States Club
18 I have 7 states down (WI, IL, FL, MN, MO, MI, TX)
19 I love music from the 80's
20 Especially the 1 Hit Wonders (Kajagoogoo, The Hooters, Dexy's Midnight Runner's, etc)
21 My favorite band from the 80's is The Outfield ("Your Love" was their most popular hit)
22 I also really like The Police
23 I finally saw them in concert 2 years ago in Chicago
24 I also really like Mannheim Steamroller (you should check out their non Christmas music sometime)
25 I have always lived in Wisconsin
26 I have lived in Wauwatosa, Brookfield, Oshkosh, Madison, West Allis, and Muskego
27 The winters suck in WI, but they make me a better runner
28 The winters suck in WI, but they make me a tougher person
29 The winters suck in WI, but they build character (at least that is what my parents taught me)
30 My Brother used to live in downtown Chicago, I used to love to stay there for the weekend at his 56th floor apartment
31 I would love to sit on the outdoor balcony at night and listen to the city.
32 I ran the Chicago Marathon twice, one was the meltdown year.
33 I ran the Walt Disney World Marathon twice (one was for The Goof)
34 I love going to Disney World
35 It truly is the Happiest Place on Earth
36 Especially when my Princess was there on her 4th Birthday
37 She rode The Tower of Terror 13 times that trip, her favorite ride.
38 My favorite baseball team is my hometown Brewers
39 They made the playoffs last year for the first time in 26 years and I had tickets
40 I couldn't make the game because it started at 12:30PM the day I ran the Twin Cities marathon 330 miles away.
41 I did not go to the Mall of America on this trip, but have been there a few times. It is a fun place to go.
42 I have been at my current job for almost 15 years
43 I had an internship after college at a company called The Swiss Colony
44 The first car I ever bought myself was a White 1993 Chrysler LeBaron Convertible
45 Currently I drive a 1999 Nissan Sentra with 165K Miles . . .
46 . . . And a 1995 Dodge Grand Caravan MiniVan (over 100K Miles)
47 I really like the mini van with lots of room and upright seats
48 I like to travel though I have not done so too often
49 I have been to 35 different states (My parents will travel to their 50th leaving on Saturday)
50 I have traveled to 2 other countries besides the US (England and Canada) Canada almost doesn't count
51 I spent a week and a half with Andrew and his wife in England in April 2001
52 We could not do any hiking due to Foot & Mouth Cattle Disease.
53 Therefore I was able to see Stonehenge at 40 Miles per Hour
54 I stood up in his wedding in Silver Spring, Maryland
55 His bachelor party was a blast
56 4 Brits, 3 Americans, and 1 Scot all drinking lots of international beer
57 I do not drink often but did have a nice Schneiderweise
58 I love eating Italian food
59 Chinese is pretty good as well
60 I was told in college by a professor that I would be a good Actuary
61 I missed the boat on that one, high pay, low stress
62 I don't read nearly as much as I should
63 I do read the Sunday paper every week
64 I do have subscriptions to Runner's World and Readers Digest
65 I plan on reading he entire Bible in one of those 3 year plans.
66 I have a good faith in God and Jesus though not as much as I probably should
67 I have never really read the Bible or studied I so I am looking forward to this plan
68 My current favorite passage is Isaiah 40:31. Don't know it? Look it up!
69 My Princesses go to a parochial school so I want to set a good example
70 I am organizing a Kid's Marathon for my kids school and other schools
71 My favorite TV shows are Survivor and The Amazing Race
72 I would love to actually be on The Amazing Race someday
73 I also liked the short lived reality show The Mole
74 For a few years, I hosted a party at my house where we "played" Survivor
75 I created interesting challenges and people voted others out just like the show
76 Now the annual party is more of a game for points and no set time to arrive or leave
77 This way I can play and still create new fun and crazy challenges
78 I give out a travelling trophy to the top Male and Female points earner
79 I did Karaoke once but it was with a group of 4
80 I do NOT sing well and have been told this before, even by my Princesses
81 I like to go camping, I have a pop up trailer
82 My favorite place to camp is Peninsula State Park in Door County, WI
83 There are quaint little towns in Door County and beautiful bluffs overlooking Lake Michigan's Green Bay
84 My favorite Pro Football team is my home state Green Bay Packers
85 I have been to only one game in Historic Lambeau Field but did get to see Brett Favre play that game
86 I have bumped into 2 different national celebrities in my life
87 I saw John Tesh at Centennial Park in Atlanta during the Olympics
88 I saw Hulk & Brook Hogan at a Mini Golf/Human Maze in Panama City Beach, FL
89 I am completely unimpressed with the Hogans and I feel they are useless
90 My brother broke my rib when I was a freshman in HS, during Church
91 I re-broke it sneezing a month or so later
92 Later that day I rode for 1 hour on a bumpy school bus to a track meet, hurt like hell
93 To this day, if I sneeze, I still grab my side where the rib broke out of habit
94 The last soda I drank was in March or 2008
95 I drink a lot of water now but really like hot cocoa
96 At home I drink Kool-Aid. A lot of sugar but no acids
97 I am pretty sure that if I ever lost the use of my legs, I would find a way to still compete somehow
98 Other sports I enjoy are Volleyball and Golf
99 The blogging thing has been fun and I hope to meet some of you in person someday
100 I hope my blogs are beneficial to some people and I hope you enjoy reading.

There you have it, Bill in a nutshell. Some people would prefer me in one!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

National Employee Health & Fitness Day

Today is National Employee Health and Fitness Day. Did you know that? It does say “National” in the title so I assume that this is something going on all over the country today but I am not sure. My company has participated in this all the years I have been here and usually they let us go on a mile and a half walk in the morning and then feed us bananas and squirrel food, you know, healthy stuff. This year my company encouraged us to bike to work so I decided to take them up on it.

I woke up early and biked about 5 miles to meet up with 9 other of my co-workers to bike in the last 7 miles. It was a nice morning with good temps but quite windy in our face the entire way. I have not been on my bike for a ride since last fall so my legs were a little tired after the 11 ½ miles or so against the wind. Let’s hope the wind stays the same direction for the way home. I will be taking it easy as I want to race good this weekend.

I had left some clean clothes at work the day before so I was able to change when I got here today. I will change back for the ride home. I parked my bike in the building today since we have room and a friend of mine thought it would be funny to put on some yellow paper tassels in the end of the handlebars. He dared me to ride home with them on so I am thinking of taking him up on it. Most likely they will fall off but it would look funny to see someone biking a Trek with tassels.

Sunday is the Madison Marathon. Paul decided to run the whole thing and Chaz wanted to do the relay so Chaz and I are partners in the 2 person relay. Chaz thinks he will run round a 1:24 to 1:25 and I want to break 1:40 so I guess our goal is to break 3:05. Nothing like running 13 minutes slower than he (Chaz) ran an entire marathon just last weekend. Chaz ran the Green Bay Marathon in 2:52 for a PR. Paul is pulling yet another back to back as he also ran the full in Green Bay last weekend in 3:41. He is close to qualifying for Boston but I think he needs to stop this back to back stuff and concentrate on getting a good race in and not tiring himself out every weekend.
Chaz and I still don’t know what order we will run in. Here are my thoughts. I think I want to be second because with Chaz leading of, he will be running with the fast runners pulling himself to a good time with no traffic (He will run close to 6:30 pace). Then I can run my pace using my Garmin to keep me to where I need to be. There will be people passing me and maybe near the end, I can use the faster runners to pull me faster. If I ran first, I would run with people my pace but Chaz then would be having to pass lots of people running over a minute per mile faster. Anyways, those are my thoughts.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Something Special Happened 100 Years Ago

I did go for a short easy 5 miler today but I am not going to talk about running today.

Sunday was a great day. We had a birthday party for my grandma. It was her 100th birthday party. Technically her birthday is on Tuesday the 19th, but there were a lot of my relatives who flew in for the party. Grandma has obviously been a big part of my family and my life for a long time. I still get together with all my cousins, aunts, uncles and even grandma every Christmas because grandma feels family is that important. It is always a wonderful time. So now we all gathered at the retirement home she lives in for the party. Grandma looked wonderful and seemed to be having a great time. She was given many cards (what gift do you get for a 100 y/o), a bouquet of 100 pink and white roses, and even a jar or 100 Hershey hugs and 100 Hershey kisses.

My princesses seemed to have a good time as well. Even the 3 y/o was not afraid of "Oma" like she usually is with people she is not used to. I think that is because she remembers the name Oma because we pray for Oma every night before bed. It was interesting watching them and how they looked at someone who is so old and how they look at old looking hands and faces. Oma can't hear much at all, in fact you practically have to yell into her ear for her to hear you. Melissa my 7 y/o, was talking to Oma and was being asked what grade she was in. I had to coax her from behind to hold up 1 finger for 1st grade.

We all love Oma very much and feel very blessed that we have had he with us for so long. She is still doing good so we plan on many more years ahead of us.

I was able to see some of my cousins that I have not seen in over 15 years as well. 2 of them have lived in California all their lives and rarely get to Wisconsin to see all of us. It is hard to recognize them as I only see an occasional picture and have maybe seen them a total of 5 times in my entire life. I did talk running with Tommy from CA and he told me he ran the San Francisco Marathon a few years ago. He ran a 3:30 or so, not bad at all, 10 minutes faster than I ever ran a marathon.

So I will end this post the best way I know how today:

Happy 100th Birthday Grandma!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

ChocolateFest 5K

Since I plan on running a half marathon next weekend, I decided to do 2 shorter runs on Friday and Saturday. Friday was an easy 5 miler after work at 8:19 pace. I had decided not to run too fast because I was planning on running a local 5K on Saturday morning.

I woke up at 6AM Saturday morning and looked out the window to see if the weather was OK. It was wet on the ground but no rain. A quick check of the weather radar on showed no more rain on the way. So I woke up Katelynn, had some quick breakfast and off to Burlington we went. Katelynn was going to be my partner in the race.

The race was called the Chocolatefest Run (or Chocolate Chase, not sure) and was the kick off to Chocolate Fest in Burlington. Burlington is know for a few things and one is that it is called Chocolate City, USA because it is the headquarters of Nestle. I know Hershey, PA might argue with that but that is for the 2 of them to duke it out. Burlington is also where the International Liars Club is but that is a different story.

The weather at the start was about 50F and windy, not great for stroller pushing. I saw 3 other people that were going to push jog strollers so that was cool. After a 1 mile warm up, the race started with a horn. After a quick lap around the High School, we head off on a trail for an out and back. It is great pushing a jog stroller when you are running with the wind, but when you are against it, it is like pushing a parachute. At about 1 1/4 miles into the race, we go down the bike path directly into the wind for about 1/2 mile until we turn around and head back. That was a struggle and I knew there were about 4 or 5 others just behind me. The nice thing about a turn around in a race is that you can see where you are in a race, the bad thing is that is slows you down.

I get to the turn around and realize I am in 10th place overall! Now I am running with the wind so I pick it up a lot and take off on the group that was just behind me. The course has a lot of turns which makes it tough to run with a jog stroller, but no worries. I see ahead of me the top 2 females battling it out and they end up finishing within 3 seconds of each other. I finish up still in 10th place in 22:34, 3rd in my age group. Only the top runner in the age group gets an award though.

Katelynn had a lot of fun on the run and on the 2 mile cool down, we had to stop and watch a train for awhile. These are important things to 3 year olds. She just relaxed and enjoyed her after race banana.

I came home, cut the grass, and now it is time to relax. I may even take a short nap.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Lights Out With AC/DC

It was a nice day today. Mid 60's, sunny, and breezy. I came home from work and decided to go for a 5 miler but this time I took my youngest princess with me. Katelynn usually likes it when we "go running" as she gets to see all around town. I bet the breeze in her face felt good as well.

We took off into the wind for about a mile before we hit the bike trail for another 2 miles. The last mile was back into the wind but we did well maintaining about a 8:50 pace. It is a lot of fun running with partner cheering you on. Well, maybe not cheering on, more like talking, talking, talking . . . Talked about puppies, cars, soccer players, other runners, bikers, clouds, etc. She was holding a small picture her sister drew the entire time looking at it, flapping it around, calling it her ticket. Well, sure enough, just after mile 4, "DADDY, MY TICKET!!!" We backtrack a little and find the drawing and finish our run without anymore issues. And then the great comments afterwards "Daddy, why are you all wet and sweaty?" Innocence.

Last night I went to the Milwaukee Brewers game for the second time this year. Brewers Won, YES! The best part of the game is the top of the 9th when the Brewers are up 3 or less runs. In comes Trevor Hoffman. If you don't know him, he is the all time MLB save leader though this is his first season as a Brewer. As they did in San Diego where he used to play, when he comes in, they dim the lights and the Bells begin from Hells Bells by AC/DC. It is his signature song and it totally gets the entire crowd into the game. They play it loud and the make it a great experience. It has got to really suck to be the opposing team and hear that music. Sure enough, Hoffman comes in a 3 players later, the game is over and the Brewers win. Hoffman's 7th save of the year (update, he got save #8 today).

I also picked the wrong sausage int eh sausage race yet again. Last game I had the Italian and it took last. This time I took Hot Dog and, yes, it took last. It may seem really stupid to all you around the country to see us cheering on sausages in a race, but it is actually quite fun.

Side note: I got my cell phone from my brother when we shared a family plan and I am not one to purchase ring tones so I use whatever he already had and so I use AC/DC's Hells Bells as my ring tone. It is funny that every time I hear that song, I get the feeling like I have a call. Not really, I rarely get calls on my phone nor do I make many calls. Maybe I should have it on more?!?!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

This and That

I did a quick 5 1/2 miler after work today at a pace of 8:08. I tried a new route from home on some rural roads and it was a bit windy but it was a good run. It wasn't as easy feeling as yesterdays run but I am happy about it none-the-less.

For the first time this year, I watched American Idol tonight. Looks like Danny Gokey should make the final against Adam Lambert. It is obvious that I cannot judge singing talent. I did not think Adam Lambert sang well but the judges praised a lot. Let's hope Gokey makes the final. They really didn't show any scenes from the celebrations around Milwaukee that Gokey was at and sang at. Maybe that will be tomorrow. I really wanted to see how he show made Milwaukee look.

I will have to record the show tomorrow though as I am going to the Brewers game against the Marlins. Tickets were half price and I got 2 tickets in the first row of the 4th deck between home and first. It will be a high view but I think the seats are still pretty good. Probably not as good as the last game I went to but then again, seats here are cheaper. The Brewers won tonight so let's hope for 2 in a row.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Today Good, Tomorrow ?

It is funny how one day you can feel one way and the next feel different. Tonight I ran 5 miles from home and my foot did not hurt, well a little at near mile 1 but it went away. I felt really good out there tonight. I went out with the intention of going easy and in the end, it really was an easy pace, mostly. I ended up with an average of 7:58 per mile. The last mile wasn't really at an easy pace but it was not hard either. I am happy about this run. Not only was it pretty fast for me considering it was an easy pace day, but my foot was better. Maybe tomorrow it will hurt, maybe not. At least today was good.

I feel better about racing again in a week and a half. My plan is o run the Madison Marathon 2 Person Relay. So it will be another half marathon and my goal is to do my leg in under 1:40. I am not sure who will be my partner yet. Could be Paul or it could be Chaz. Both are running the Green Bay Marathon this weekend so they are focusing on that first.

Here are few more pictures from Door County. It is such a beautiful place to visit. I think i will be back up there in late July.

View from the top of the Eagle Tower.

The Princesses at Nicolet Beach with Horseshoe Island in the background.

My favorite Ice Cream place, Wilson's. I have been going here since I was a baby.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Rain, Rain, Rain, Gokey, and Mattson

Paul and I went on a 10 mile run this morning and the weather was completely crappy. We left from his house at about 6:40AM and it was in the mid 40's, windy and lightly raining. 1/2 mile into the run and it was raining good. 1 mile into the run and we were already soaked. We ran down a bike trail and were surprised to see another runner just as insane as us. We were planning on going a little further (12 to 14) but the weather told us to just finish as get warm again. On the way back on the out and back, the wind was in our face and it was COLD. All in all, this is typical spring weather in Wisconsin and I just kept telling myself, this is what makes us better runners.

The thing that worries me the most was that today during the run, my foot hurt most of the way. I don't know if it was because of the cold wet weather or if it just not getting better. I am due for another physical so I might just make an appointment and get all of me checked out. It does worry me some.

In other interesting stuff happening here in the Milwaukee area, it was American Idol day on Friday. I don't watch the show all that much, occasionally, but Danny Gokey is from Milwaukee. And while I don't care all that much who wins the contest, it is fun to see how the city went all out for it. He apparently saw some of the local sights, gave a short concert, and even threw out the first pitch and sang the National Anthem before the Brewers/Cubs game. I guess it would be cool if he won. It is not like Milwaukee is known for it's singers. I will watch on Tuesday though to see how the city is portrayed. At least the weather was great on Friday.

Wisconsin recently has had a good showing on some of the "reality shows". Survivor, which is one show I do watch, has Erin still on and she is a hairdresser from Waukesha, about 10 miles from me. Also in last years America's Got Talent show, Eli Mattson, from Door County, took second place. This guy I really like. He is a piano player with a deep soulful voice. See this link to watch him sing "Walking in Memphis" on the show from YouTube. I do not have his album yet but I will be trying to find it.

I will finish today by wishing all Moms out there a very Happy Mother's Day!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Foot Problem? Not Sure.

My right foot has still been bothering me but I have been icing it every night for about 1/2 hour. It was feeling better today but not great so I decided to go on a run. On Sunday I went on a run and my foot did not hurt while running so I was hoping for the same. Sure enough, not a single bit of pain while running. Why does this happen? I have no idea.

I decided to run 5 1/2 miles at an easy pace. I ended up running it at 8:13 pace and it felt good. At about mile 3, it started raining, and it wasn't long before it was pouring. I love running in the rain as long as I can get dried soon after I stop. It was warm so I did not freeze out there. It was shirt stick completely to the body wet.

It has now been 4 1/5 hours since I ran and my foot is no worse that it was during the day so lets hope this little problem is going away.

In some other news, we are going to roll out the Kid's Marathon program on Friday to all the schools interested. I was able to secure a good sponsor so we are able to keep the cost down to only $10 per kid. They will receive a tshirt, medal, and book. There will also be other giveaways and even a new pair of running shoes to raffle off. I really hope a lot of kids join as this will keep them active while keeping them reading over the summer. I'll keep you all informed as to what the response is. I pray for a lot. My friend Mike also created the logo we will use. What do you think?

Monday, May 4, 2009

Door County HM Pictures

I have a few pictures from the race on Saturday to share. Also I have finally seen the results and times. I ended up in 41st place over all out of 693. Hey, not a mid-packer. Then if you remove the top 3 overall, I ended up in 4th place in my age group. Top 3 get awards, oh so close. But the closest number is my official time. 1:40:02. OUCH! Only 3 seconds from sub 1:40. I am not upset in the slightest though. I am very happy with how I raced and the time I got. I hope to be able to repeat it in 3 weeks.

I do have a little injury now from the race. The outside bottom back of my right foot just before the heal is very sore. I think it is the tendon that did not react to the shoes well so I think it will be gone in a day or 2, at least I hope so. I ended up running in my racing flats which might not be the smartest thing to do in a half marathon but I feel so fast and run faster in them. I am taking a few days off to rest it so hopefully that will do the trick.

So now my outlook is the Madison Marathon 2 person Relay on Memorial Day Weekend. I don't know who my partner will be yet. Could be Paul or could be Chaz. Depends on if we find a 4th to run then we may run 2 relay teams.
This is early in the race. Probably first 2 miles.
This looks to be just before mile 10 and the big downhill.

I think this is rather late in the race, maybe just past mile 11.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Race Report: Door County Half Marathon

What a beautiful day for a half marathon. I woke up at it was in the lower 40’s an mostly sunny. I am staying in Sister Bay, WI so I have to drive about 10 miles to where the Door County Half Marathon which takes place in Peninsula State Park. If you have never been there before, it is a very beautiful park and a great location for a half marathon. The race will take place entirely in the park on paved roads with hills in the middle that reach up 150 feet.

I get to the park at about 8:45 and since the race starts at 10, I have time to relax and use the facilities. My goal as stated a few days ago, is to run somewhere between 1:43 and 1:45 depending on how I feel. I have not tapered at all for this race but I feel good.

I get in a mile 1 mile warm up which is something I have not done before a half or full marathon before. Let’s try something new! The race is pretty crowded. I am not sure how many are in it but the road is not wide and they say there are twice as many as last year so maybe 600 to 700. I will know when I look at the results. The horn goes off and it is not hot and not cold. Probably about 50F to 55F but the trees should provide some shade on the course from the sun. I was not at the front but I laid back and had to weave through a lot of people who do not understand where to start a race. No worries, after 1 mile, it is clear running. I go past 1 mile in 7:48, a little faster than I wanted to go which was 8:00 for the first 4 miles. I feel really good though but it is only 1 mile after all. Mile 2 was a 7:27, “WHOA THERE, slow it down.” “But I feel so good”. I slow it some and mile 3 is a 7:52. So far the course is flat but the hills are coming after 4.

Mile 4 is a 7:48 and I take a little walk break. I do these during long runs to give the muscles a little break. It is the Jeff Galloway method and it works well for me. Now I encounter the longest hill on the course up Sven’s Bluff (It is very Nordic up in Door County). Mile 5 up the hill dropped to 8:10. Actually I was pretty happy about this time as I took the hill easy as to not wear out the muscles. A little downhill and a little up hill on mile 6 and I am back down to 7:32. I find myself now running near the same people which is usually this time in a race. They go a little faster up the hills and I go a little faster on the down hills. I plan on my next stop for water and a GU at mile 8 and plan on picking it up from there and trying to go 7:30’s. Miles 7 & 8 are 7:50 and 8:08. I must have been daydreaming a little.

At Mile 8, I stop for my second and last walk break and down a GU and some water and now it is time to pick it up, if I can. There is really only 1 more section of up hills to go right after 9 and the a log downhill to some flat for the finish. I start to gain ground on others and pass some as I drop a 7:16 for mile 9. 1 last section of a few up hills on mile 10 and I still maintain a 7:42. I look down at my Garmin and notice I am averaging a 7:45 pace and wonder now if I could break 1:40, something I have not done in over 15 years. A nice downhill section in the 10 mile mark but it is really too steep to get good speed on. I run with a guy for a few hundred meters, exchange running pleasantries, and the drop him. I see a lady in front of me I have been chasing now for about 5 miles so she is my new target. I pass mile 11 and see that I ran a 6:56. HOLY CRAP and I still feel pretty good. I tell myself I need to be to mile 12 at a certain time if I have any chance to break 1:40 and push to try to get there. 1 more up hill before 12 but it is pretty small compared to the others and I pass that lady. I give her some encouragement but she does not stay with me. A head of me 100 meters is a group of about 6 spread out over 20 or 30 meters and now THEY are my new target. I see some slowing so I gain ever so slowly. I run mile 12 in 7:41 but my Garmin says mile 12 is earlier than the sign. It has been getting further off during the race. I pass the 12 mile mark and look at my watch and it says either a high 1:32 or a low 1:33, I don’t remember. I think 1:40 will very hard to get now but I still have the guys in front of me to catch.

I dig deeper which is something I am unaccustomed to doing late in a race this long. Usually it is me just trying to survive. I catch 2 of the guys and the 2 more. I feel great as I push hard. I don’t bother to look at my watch when it beeps mile 13 as I have 1 more guy to catch and maybe even break 1:40. I pass him during the final shoot and cross the finish line. I stop my watch and it says 1:40:05 AARRGHH! It is OK though. I am very happy with the performance and considering the course and hills, I am very pleased with my time. Garmin says I ran a 6:47 from mile 12 to 13. I think I ran a slower mile during the 5K a few weeks ago.

In 3 weeks from now I plan on running another half. The plan is to run the Madison Marathon 2 person relay with a friend. Sub 1:40, here I come.