Wednesday, July 29, 2009

A Few Short Runs and Time to Leave

I have had 2 more runs now since the last appointment to adjust my ankle. Yesterday was an easy 5 miler on the track at the high school near my house. I took my oldest princess along and she ran a few laps as I ran my 5 miles. I ran at an average of 8:28 while she ran a total of 4 laps. She was able to mark off another mile on her log sheet for the Kid's Marathon though.

This morning, I woke up early and was running on the track once again at 6:00AM. I was feeling quite sluggish and I didn't fight it. I just went easy and didn't feel particularly well. I ended up running 6 miles at an average of 8:48. I was surprised it was actually that fast.

Tomorrow will be another easy 5 on the track in the morning before I leave with 2 of the princesses to Door County. I am really looking forward to my 20+ miler on Saturday morning. My plan is to end it by jumping into the lake to cool off. I hope the water isn't too cold.

You may be wondering why I run on the track so often instead of going on a route. Well, when I was with my daughter, it was because the track is fenced in and I can watch her closely to make sure she is safe. In the mornings I run there right after I wake up. Usually on a long run, I will wake up early and sit around for an hour or so to let my body wake up and "let nature takes it's course" In the mornings before work, I don't have that much time so the track offers a nice portolet that is nice and easy to use quickly. Laps are not all that bad to run. I usually change lanes every lap to keep it a little more interesting and helps me keep track of the number of laps I have run. So tomorrow I will run to the track and run 17 laps, 2 laps in each lane and 3 in lane 8, then a 1/4 mile run home and 5 miles will be done.

Monday, July 27, 2009

The Road to Ankle Recovery

I know you have been reading about my issues with my ankle recently so I broke down on Friday morning and made an appointment to see the chiropractor. I didn't know if he would be able to help my ankle at all but I was due for a regular adjustment. Once I met with him, he said of course he could help me out. This made me feel better as the less the number of doctors I need to go to, the better. I had my regular adjustment and then he took some X-Rays of my ankle. He then proceeded to adjust my ankle and the rest of my feet. He cracked my toes which felt odd and hurt a bit but I guess they needed it. I went back today and the X-Rays showed that there is a bone between my heel bone and by leg bone (sorry, I don't remember what the name was) is out of position and he says that is my problem. He adjusted it again and I need to go back again on Wednesday.

Since my ankle was so sore recently, I took the whole weekend off. I didn't run until this evening. I ended up taking the family camping at our Church's Family Camp out. We all had a good time and I was able to stay up late out at a campfire late with other people, something I don't get to do often. Friday night, I stayed out until 1:45 AM. This is very late for me. the corn on the cob wasn't even put on the grill over the campfire until 12:30 AM. I had to wait until then. Saturday night I stayed up until 2:30 AM. We had a wonderful time around the fire just talking about anything, staring up at the stars watching a few shooting stars and seeing a few satellites going by.

Well, like I said, I did finally get a run in today. I ran after my volleyball match (we only won 1 of 3 but they were very close) and got in 9 miles. My ankle was sore during the run but it settled in after about a half mile. I ended up averaging 8:44 per mile but I wasn't going for speed. It was raining lightly the entire run which felt good and it was quite dark at certain parts along the bike trail in the wood but the rest of the run had lights. I plan on continuing the running hoping the chiropractor will adjust and fix the problem. Tomorrow will be something like a 5 miler and maybe a double run on Wednesday. I am off work this week so my schedule is all screwed up so hopefully I will keep the running together.

I am taking the 2 oldest princesses with me to Door County this weekend starting on Thursday morning. This place is absolutely beautiful and I love going up there. I will try to get some good pictures to share. I really want a retirement home up there someday. I am planning a long run up there. My mom will watch the kids while I go out for hopefully a 20+ miler. My plan is to run from the hotel complex all my relatives are staying at just south of Egg Harbor all the way through the side roads to Fish Creek. I will then enter Peninsula State Park (the place I ran the Door County Half Marathon) and run through there until I get to 20 or so miles. All my extended family meets there for a hike along the trails so I will plan on meeting them at the start. Ideally I would like to stash some clean clothes at the park and hop in the lake to clean off a little before the hike. I don't think they all want to smell how I will after a long run without cleaning up some.

I wish you all could join me for a run up there. It is a great place to run. I would even buy the ice cream at Wilson's afterwards. Mmmmmmm Wilson's.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Fartleks - It Has Been A Long time

I ran again today with Mike after work. After deciding not to do hills since Mike's knee was a little sore, we decided to do 5.5 miles with Fartleks in the middle. We set off at an easy pace of about 8:40 or so and then after 2.25 miles, we started the fartleks. We ended up running 8 sets of fast for 1 minute, slow for 1 minute. This took us about 1.5 miles out and then a nice easy run back to work to finish. It felt good today for me. I could feel my ankle but it was the usual.

That was until I went to the grocery store to get supplies for camping this weekend. While walking through the store, my ankle just kept getting more and more sore. Not to the point where I couldn't walk or anything, but just to the edge of almost limping a little. Now I am starting to get a little worried about this. I have twisted my ankle before and even did it once during a track workout, but this feels different. The soreness feels like it is in the middle of the ankle just below the ankle bone but above the heal. I am due for a check up with the doctor so maybe it is time to make an appointment and get this checked out as well.

Like I said, I am camping this weekend so i was planning on a 13 miler Friday morning before we leave. I have now decided to scratch that plan and give it a full 2 or 3 days rest from running. Am I disappointed? You bet! But this may be nothing. the uncertainty is not fun. I don't go to the doctor often, which I know is not a good thing, but I think now is the time. I am off work all next week so maybe I can make an appointment then. I have a nice long run planned for next weekend that I would really like to do. I will be in Door County and would love to run from Egg Harbor through Fish Creek and add about 10 more miles in Peninsula State Park to make it at least 20. We will see.

In other news, I saw something yesterday I don't see often at all and it made me really think. I was grocery shopping (again) and as I left, I saw an lady with a shopping cart full or groceries being arrested for shoplifting. he police were waiting for her and the store knew she was going to do this as she had been for a few days. At first I was feeling like it is a good thing and that what she did was wrong and she deserves to be arrested as stealing is wrong. But as I thought about it, I still feel her arrest is the right thing, but I wonder what led her to do this. It is possible she was just a petty thief and this was a log time coming. But what is she is on hard times and can't afford to feel her family (I am only speculating here). If this is the case, she still should not have done what she did, but I wish someone would lead her to a help center to a church that could help her. I know my church helps out those in need even if they are not members of the church. Anyways, I said some prayers for her last night in hopes she will get herself or her situation figured out.

The economy is real bad for some out there. I just hope people make the right decisions during hard times.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

What is Between an Easy Run and a Tempo Run?

My ankle still seems to be giving me some problems. It seems to be quite sore when I start and then after about 12 mile, it goes mostly (not completely) away. Then on and off during the day it is sore and not sore. I wish I knew what it was but I can still run so that is a positive.

Monday was 8 miles at 8:29 pace before Volleyball. I felt good and the pace was almost completely even the entire way. Then we ended up only winning 1 of 3 games at V-Ball. Should have won 2 but oh well, it was still fun.

Yesterday was a nice 5 miler with Mike. We ran not a Tempo but not an easy run either, well, at least for me, for Mike it was an easy run. First 3 miles we at an average of 8:13 then mile 4 was a 7:50. The last mile we picked it up and with a nice finish, we ended that mile at 6:54. That felt really good. As usual, we stopped a the the platform scale to weigh ourselves. I keep telling people I want to lose about 15 pounds to get that marathon time down and I always get the same look and responses. The ole why do you need to lose weight or where do you plan on losing it from. I am 6' 2" tall so I guess I can weigh more because I am tall, but I still want to be lighter. Right now I am going at 182. My goal would be to get to 170. I am the same height as I was in college when I was weighing 160 and running great. Just want to get those last few off now.

I do use the weight thing as an excuse (jokingly) as to why I run slower that some of the guys I run with. I say stuff like my weight/pace per mile is as fast as them. Hey, it sounds good!

Today is a planned 5 miler while the oldest is at Gymnastics. I hope the ankle is not an issue but I will see.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Hills and Long Run

The last 2 days brought about 2 harder workouts. First of all on Thursday, Mike and I tackled Mountain Rd for some hill reps. It was the first time Mike and I have run together in quite a while. He had hurt his knee and wasn't running too much so it was nice to finally run with another person.

We ran our 2 mile warm up and then did 5 reps up the hill. We sprinted the last one pretty fast which felt very good but really drained me. A nice slow cool down was needed and run.

Today I decided to run my long run for the weekend. I need to be home in the morning. So I went close to the lake again for a nice 20 miler. It was cool here today. I think the temp was in the upper 60's when I started with a threat of some rain. I started a little fast for the first 2 miles then I hit a hill for mile 3 and slowed. The rain started but very lightly and felt good. I was in and out of the trees as I was on a bike trail that wound back and forth through parks and along parkways. After 4 miles, I was able to pick it up some and turned around a little past 10 miles at an average of 8:43.

After turning around, i kept the same pace as I took breaks only every 5 miles for some Gu and water. I started to feel fatigue at about mile 17 but knew I had a good downhill coming. That mile was good but then when the hill was over, I was still a bit slow. I pushed the last mile and a half and finished 20.5 miles in 2:58:30 for an average of 8:42. Would I have liked to go a little faster? Sure, but I was still satisfied with this run. It was the longest run I have done in awhile. I was feeling kinda hungry toward the end so if I have a little more food in me at the start and a little more fuel with me, I think I could have kept that pace for at least a few more miles. Maybe even an entire marathon.

I plan on taking tomorrow off from running. My ankle was a little sore on the run and more so afterwards so I iced it.

In other news, the T-Shirts for the Kid's Marathon arrived today. I handed out a few to those who has signed up though my work or had a school representative I worked with. They turned out good. At the school my daughter attends, I plan on handing out the shirts at the Family Fun Run. I emailed the group today saying to show up on Sunday and get their shirts so hopefully there will be a few more that show up Sunday. I guess we will see.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

From Wisconsin to Worlds

I did an easy 5 miler today and it felt good. The ankle issue still is there but not bad at all today.

The thing I wanted to write about today was something I saw on Runners World on line today. It was a video trailer call From Wisconsin to Worlds. Runner World is going to do a video series about the 3 of the runners representing the USA at the T&F World Championships in Berlin Germany later this year. They all happen to have run at the University of Wisconsin and all run now in Oregon for a new Nike team with their former Wisconsin coach Jerry Schumacher (who went to High School with my brother). The 3 guys are Matt Tegenkamp, Chris Solinsky, & Evan Jager. The video series will apparently follow their training getting ready for the World Championships. This should be interesting to watch.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

A Little Catch Up On A Lot Of Stuff

It has been a long time since my last post and I have no good excuse except that it is summer and it gets busy. In the fall, winter, and spring when the sun goes down earlier and I am inside sooner, there seems more time to blog. But I digress.

So I am sitting here watching the All Star Game and thought it was a good time to catch up. So I bring you a little of this and a little of that.

First the running. Last week I was off work which always throws off my running schedule since on a weekday, I usually run after work. I decided this would be an easier week and i was with only 3 runs all week. Tuesday was 7 in the morning. Thursday was 10 in the morning. Both of these were at or close to 8:30 pace and I did them on the track at the school 1/4 mile from home. Took the next few days off while I went camping but did get in 13 on Sunday evening. I ran the first 9 at 8:32 pace and then ran the next 4 with a teacher from my daughter school at 10:16 pace pushing my youngest in the jog stroller. 30 miles for the week.

Monday was the before Volleyball run or 8 miles and that run kinda sucked. I had to stop at 5 miles to hit the woods for a minute and almost got carried away from the mosquitoes. They are terrible this year. Today was an easy 5 after work at 8:20 pace.

Sunday's run proved to be quite interesting at just under 1 mile in. I was running on a path that goes between 2 yards to the next road and I was following a girl that I would guess was 10 years old as she was biking home from her friend's house. She was about 100 feet in front of me on the road when she dumped her bike onto the road and started crying. She was wearing sandals and when i got to her, she said she was hurting. That was obvious from the road abrasions I was on her foot in about 3 or 4 spots as well as on her knee and elbow. She was wearing a helmet so that was good. I ended up seeing a neighbor next to the trail and I loudly asked him if he had some ice. I carried her to that house and he got out a lawn chair for her to sit in and got a towel. We soaked it in the sprinkler and cleaned her some and wrapped her leg in it. I then asked for a phone to call her parents but he thought I was the Dad and was surprised I wasn't. She only lived 2 blocks away but was in no way ready to walk. Her parents came and then I left on my run. I never got her name but I feel good that I could help. I guess there was a reason I was at that point of my run at that time.

The rest of my my week off was fun. I took my oldest, Melissa, to Six Flags Great America on Monday. She LOVES roller coasters and I got her on as many as I could. She is only 7 y/o and was just too short for a few but loved the ones she got on. We did all sorts of other rides and I watched her on all the spinny or twisting rides. My head cannot handle that any more. She had a blast none-the-less. There was even a concert by Raven-Simone from Disney Channel there. We saw 2 songs and left as it was ungodly loud. There was no reason I could see that it needed to be that loud especially with so many kids there. We just left and did more rides.

Camping was fun. They had a nice pond with lots of fun water objects to climb on. It rained both nights but was sunny each day. This campground is hosting a duathlon in late August that I am considering entering. It is a 2 miles run, 20 mile bike, and finishes with another 2 mile run. Sounds like fun to me.

Finally, I got an email from my friend Chris who is the race director of the InStep Icebreaker Indoor Marathon. They have scheduled next years event and have new and exciting events to be included. Sunday, January 24th, will be the full marathon again but this year they have added a half marathon on Saturday. Actually they have added 2 half marathons anticipating a lot of interest. The field limit in each half marathon is 120 (due to the size and capacity of the track) so at 7AM will be the faster half marathoners, and at 10 Am will be the slower ones. How will they determine which one to be in? I am not sure. Then at 1PM, they will have a marathon relay. They Milwaukee Lakefront Marathon relay always sells out fast so they think this will bring some shorter distance runners into the mix.

The final new thing they are adding is The Gold Medal Challenge. This is like the Goofy Challenge at Walt Disney World. Only 30 will get the chance to compete in this but is consists of running the half marathon on Saturday followed by the full marathon on Sunday. Count. Me. In. I would love to run a great marathon there but the appeal to the 1/2 & full challenge is more for me. If you are interested in a January marathon, you might want to consider this one. It is a real fun experience.

Well, there is the update. I hope not to be gone this long again.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

River City Fourth Fest 5K

I ran a 5K on the 4th of July, but not before Paul and I ran and easy 10 milers on Friday morning. We headed to the trail starting at the Old Penny Bar and went to Waterford and back. We kept it easy and ended up running just faster than 8:30 pace. Paul said he was going to run the 5K the next day but he ended up not showing.

The evening of the 3rd, we went to Muskego Beach for their annual Waterbugs Water ski Show and Firework Display. The picture is on their final pyramid of the show and is almost completed when I took this picture. The fireworks were very well done and the late afternoon and evening was very fun. The beach was full of people and the atmosphere was festive. They even pointed out that Chelsie Memmel was in the crowd. She was one of the Olympic Gymnasts in Beijing and lives not too far away from Muskego.

I got up a little after 6 on the 4th of July to head out to Waterford for the River City Fourth Fest 5K. My goal was still to break 20 minutes. The weather was overcast and mid 70's. It was humid but not too bad for racing. I found Mike and Chaz for a good 2 mile warm up. We also found Chris but he ran 7 miles from home for his warm up. The race starts and off we go. There are about 300 or so in the race so the start is crowded and as always, lots go out too fast. I go out at what I feel is a good pace but as I find out at the 1 mile mark, I am too slow.

Mile 1 - 6:45, 18 seconds slower than I need to average. Now it is going to be hard to make tat up but I try to pick up the pace and begin to pass many runners. Mile 2 - 6:34, still not fast enough and now I feel like I don't have a shot at sub 20 and now it is racing to pass who is in front of me and get the best time I still can. I do pick up the pace a little though Mile 3 - 6: 29, only 3 seconds off the pace I needed to be running from the start. I pass 1 more person down the stretch and cross the line in 20:38. Could I have run faster? Yes, I think so. The first mile killed me though. 10 miles on Friday probably didn't help either but I am OK with the time.

Usually I end up placing in the top 5 in my age group in this race and get a small plaque, but this year I was 6th so nothing. I was 23 seconds out of the awards. Mike, Chaz, and another guy names Bill run 4 1/2 miles for a cool down so I got in an additional 9.5 miles for the day and I think that put me at 42.5 miles for the week.

This next week will be an easier one for me. I am off from work all week and I plan on taking the family camping on Thursday and Friday nights. And tomorrow, i am taking Melissa (my 7 y/o) to 6 Flags Great America. She absolutely loves roller coasters so I am treating her to a day of fun. One problem is that she is 53.25 inches tall in her shoes and you must be 54 inches tall to ride the biggest coasters so today we went and bought some new shoes that when she wears them and stands up really straight, is exactly 54 inches tall. I hope it works as she would be disappointed if she couldn't ride all the coasters. This is my princess who on her 4th birthday while we were at Disney World, rode the Tower of Terror 13 times.

I hope you all had a great Independence Day and your summer is off to a wonderful start.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Today I Did A Guest Post

Hello Everyone. For those of you who ventured my way from Melanie’s Blog at Life is a Marathon, welcome to my blog. For those of you who did not, I did a Guest Post there today while Melanie is over the Pond in Europe. I posted about my experiences of running marathons at different paces and what it is like to run with the fast runners, mid-packers, and slower runners.

So for those of you who came from Melanie’s blog, my name is Bill and I run marathons and everything shorter. I have not ventured over 26.2 miles yet and really don’t have a desire to right now. I have completed 17 marathons to date and my next planned marathon is the Whistle Stop Marathon in Ashland, WI in October. I am currently a slightly faster than Mid-Pack runner with aspirations of qualifying for Boston someday. My goal this fall is to run a 3:45 like I did in October 2007.

I didn’t start out being a marathoner. In High School and College, I ran the 800M or half mile if you prefer. I was good in HS and OK in college with a PR of 1:56. I ran my first marathon on 1993 just after college and then took 11 years off before my next one. My PR is 3:40 from my first one but in 2007, I ran a 3:43 so I am closing on that PR.

I do run with those faster runners often as I have friends like Chaz, Mike, and Chris that have all qualified and run Boston a few times and run either sub 3 hours or close to it. I also run often with Paul who is on the verge of qualifying, only 3 minutes shy in his last marathon. Art & Larry also run marathons with us but are 4:00 to 4:30 marathoners and don’t run them too often.

I write this blog so those that want to follow my progress may and that maybe they can pick up a few tips from my running experience. And I read other running blogs to get the same. I don’t always write about running, there is a lot of other stuff that goes on as well.

One interesting thing I have started is I am the Race Director for a Kid’s Marathon at my daughter’s school and other schools in the Milwaukee area. If you would like to check out the official website, check it out here. The kids have already started logging miles and books (It is a reading & running marathon) and the final mile is scheduled for September 12th in the morning. All kids receive a T-Shirt and when they finish, they receive a Finishers Medal & an inspirational book. My plan is to have the final mile have the same feeling like a real marathon with music, food, excitement, giveaways, etc. So far things are coming together great. We have 195 kids signed up! I hope I don’t disappoint.

Anyways, thanks for reading. Please drop a comment and tell me who you are and what you think. I would love to hear from you.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Double Day

Today is a planned double workout for me. Both will be easy 5 mile runs so I am half done. I woke up early this morning and did 5 miles on the track. It was an easy pace and a bit misty out and cool. Today the forecast calls for only a high of 60, frigid compared to the 90’s we had last week.

I also ran 5 miles yesterday after work but I decided to run it completely on the bike trail which is crushed limestone. I wanted a softer surface to give my ankle any bit of help I could. It was still sore on yesterday’s and today’s run so I am still concerned.

I plan on taking tomorrow off so maybe that will give the ankle the rest it needs. The plan for Friday is an easy 10 miler with Paul. I think I will suggest another limestone path. Then on Saturday the 4th, I will run the Waterford 5K. I know 10 miles isn’t the best thing to do the day before a 5K but I am not too concerned with my time. The goal again will be to break 20. The course is almost completely flat so times can be good. In the past I have won age group awards and they go 5 deep to maybe again this year, maybe not. I will also plan on doing a 2 mile warm up and the 5 after the race to make it an even 10 for the day. This would give me 43 for the week, slightly more than last week and within an acceptable increase percentage.