Saturday, August 29, 2009

Lake Geneva Shoreline Path

I woke up this morning and was going to do a 13 mile run. But after I got up, I just didn't feel like running. So I didn't. I do feel guilty about this but the long walk in lake Geneva makes up for it some.

We arrived in Lake Geneva at about 9:30 or so and started our walk along the Shoreline Path a little before 10. This path goes along the entire shore of Lake Geneva through every one's backyards that live on the lake including all the mansions. It was a very nice walk and almost all the time was on a path that was well maintained. Sometimes it was paved, sometimes cobblestone, other times dirt or grass.

We had cool weather up here today. It felt like late Autumn actually. Upper 50's to lower 60's, cloudy and windy but at least the wind was not crossing the lake toward us so it wasn't too windy on our walk.

The homes on the path are amazing and very well maintained. Beautiful landscapes wonderful views of the lake. Lots of "No Trespassing" signs making sure you remembered to stay on the path. It took us about 2 1/2 hours to walk the 7 or 8 miles from lake Geneva to Williams Bay and enjoyed most of it. I brought along the camera to share some of the homes and some of the path.

This house was actually only slightly nicer than most on the lake. Beautiful yard right up to the lake.
Another beautiful home with an awesome looking deck.

This home was very nice as well but if you look to the left of the picture, they were setting up for what looked like an outdoor (inside the tent) wedding. They definitely would have needed the tent with today's weather.

I believe this mansion is the Wrigley Mansion, first owned by the Wrigley family from Chicago. The same family that owns the Chicago Cubs and the Gum company.

Another very huge mansion along the lake.

Some landscape designs along the lake and visible from the path were really cool.

Here is part of the path, a part that was paved. You can see that we are just along the lake with many boat slips nice landscaping.

Sometimes along the path you had to cross little bridges, some nicer than others.

And sometimes the path is just dirt, grass, or gravel.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

1000th Mile This Year

I don't know if you look over at my mileage tracker on the right side over there, but today on my 5 mile run, I passed my 1000th mile this year. As much as an accomplishment as this is, it is not like I haven't done it before. Since I started to track all my workout in an Excel spreadsheet starting in 2006, I have hit 1000 miles each year. More than likely I ran either close or over 1000 miles in 2005 and 2004 as well, but I can't be certain. What is good about this year is that this is the earliest I have hit the 1000 mile mark. In 2006, it was hit on November 11, 2007 on October 7th (During the Chicago "Meltfest" Marathon), and in 2008 on November 2nd (Ironically again during a marathon, Rails to Trails Marathon). Since January 1st, 2006, I have logged a total of 4671 miles!

So I am way ahead of the pace of the past years by close to a month and a half. This is probably because of the 4 marathons I have already ran this year, including the Heart of Texas back-to-back marathons. I have been trying to increase my mileage in hopes that it will help bring own the marathon time. I guess we will see how that works in October and November.

After the Lake Geneva run, I took 2 days off but ran a real nice fast run on Tuesday. It was a little over 7 miles at 8:04 pace. Not quite Tempo pace but much faster than easy pace. It was good. The next day, I ran 4 miles with Mike and was very slow and sluggish. Today was an easy 5 miles to top the 1000 mark. It felt good today as it was cool. It will stay cool here all weekend with lots of rain Friday and clearing up for Saturday.

I hope it is nice on Saturday as I have a medium long run planned. 13 miles at easy pace. Then I plan on hiking with my oldest princess. We are going to go to Lake Geneva again and walk the shore line. I mentioned a post or so ago that the public has a right to walk the entire shore without the neighbors kicking you off, unless you leave the path that is. You actually walk right through multi-million dollar mansion backyards. I have never done this walk before so I am looking forward to it. I plan on taking the camera so hopefully I can get some cool pics to share. We are going to walk about 7 miles of the shore from Lake Geneva to Williams Bay. This is the part with the most expensive homes, so I am told. Melissa is behind on her miles of the Kid's Marathon so we will be using these miles for her log.

Speaking of the Kid's Marathon, things are looking very good for the final event. Most items needed are already on order and plans are coming together. Let's just hope the weather cooperates with us. Please check the Kid's Marathon Website if you want to know more about it, or just drop me a comment and I can tell you more. I am very excited for it and all these kids have done so well in their running this summer as well as all the required reading. Right now my main concern is having enough volunteers on race day so it goes off without too many problems. I may have a high school cross country team that can help and if they are not available, I will ask some other high school students to help out.

I know a lot of you are in your highest mileage weeks of your marathon training. Keep up the great training! You will all do awesome in your fall marathon.

Monday, August 24, 2009

The World Track & Field Championships

The Track & Field World Championships is over and it was an exciting meet to watch. Did you get a chance to see any of it. Quite a few great stories and a few odd ones as well. I am not going to comment much on the field events. It is not that I don't like the field events, it is just that I prefer watching the running events.

1. Usain Bolt is A M A Z I N G ! ! ! This guy not only breaks 2 world records, he annihilated them. He has got the considered the best sprinter of all time, no questions asked. In the final of the 100, Tyson Gay ran the 3rd fastest time ever run but was way behind. Now the story out there, of course, is the question to if he is "clean" or not. I hope he is clean. It would be a real shame and a bruise on the sport if he isn't. I think he is clean though. He has been breaking age group world records since he was 15 or 16.

2. The women's 800 produced the most controversy of the meet. Caster Semenya won the event by crushing the field in the final 150 meters. Very impressive! But word now is that 'she' may be a 'he'. To tell you the truth, she does look a lot like a dude, but then again, so did Maria Motula (sp?) who dominated the women's 800 for the past 10 years or so. I am not saying she is a guy, I am not a doctor, but she has many features that guys have that most women do not. My guess is (and it is only a guess from someone with no medical background) that she was born a woman, has all the features of a woman, but somehow has male features within her body that make her look the way she is and gives her extra strength. She is only 18 y/o but a very great athlete.

3. The men's 5000 was great. It was awesome to see both Matt Tegencamp AND Chris Solinsky make it to the finals. These are 2 guys who ran for the U of Wisconsin and Solinsky even ran high school in WI. They didn't place as well as they wanted to, but none-the-less, ran great races. Bernard Lagat took the silver for the US here. A little redemption after he was boxed in good in the 1500 final.

4. The men's 800 final was exciting as well. Nick Symmonds made the finals and it is exciting to watch him. He is a former D3 runner, this means no scholarships so that makes me like him a bit more. He is also exciting to watch as he has a great kick at the end of races. In the final here, he battled near the front and there was lots of pushing and bumping (who ever said running was a non-contact sport?!?!). He was able to come off the final turn with 100 meters to go in 2nd place but must have used to much energy in the 'battle' for position and faded to 6th. I am sure he learn a lot and will use that in future races.

5. I was pushing for Kara Goucher to run great in the marathon but she faded as well toward the end and took 10th (I think). I have not heard from her what happened.

6. The Women's 1500 final had some controversy as well. With 200 meters to go, the leader was tripped and pushed falling to the track while another lady was trying to pass on the inside. Turns out she was disqualified allowing one of the American women to take the bronze. Lots of pushing and shoving in the World Championships.

7. USA Men's 4X100 relay. Once again, the US found a new and inventive way to be disqualified in the prelims. This time they passed the baton too early. I have never heard of another team ever doing this. The US needs major work to get these 'silly' errors figured out. Hey, maybe practice a little more with each other. They had not chance at beating Jamaica though. They ran the second fastest time in history for the gold. Usain Bolt's 3rd Gold of course.

8. In both the men's and women's 4X400 relays, it wasn't even close. Allyson Felix was the second runner for the US and she destroyed the field and it was all but over by then. Same with Jeremy Warner for the Men.

All in all, I really enjoyed watching the Championships. There were a lot more great races to watch and I hope you got to see them. I really do love watching Track & Field.

Around Lake Geneva

The Lake Geneva Marathon runs completely around Lake Geneva so Chris decided to run around the lake for a training run. This is Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, of course, not Switzerland.

We met at a little after 6AM in front of the library and it was a beautiful morning. Sunny and cool. Lower 60’s with low humidity. We take off at an easy pace and Chris reminds me that whatever pace I want to go it the pace we will run. Chris is a faster runner but likes long slow days as well. He is training to break 3 hours in this October’s Lakefront Marathon in Milwaukee.

In the first mile we climb up 100 feet and then right back down in mile 2 before climbing again. This will be the theme of the run, especially in the second half. We started slow at about 9:15 pace but after 5 we pick it up to under 9:00’s. We reach the town of Fontana at about 10 miles feeling good and having lots of good conversation along the way. We stop so Chris can buy a Gatorade at a Gas Station for about 4 minutes before starting again. After leaving Fontana, we experience the biggest of the hills with a few steep inclines and declines going up and down to the town of Williams Bay. From out top elevation to the lake is a little over 200 feet but we do that many times during the run.

These towns on the lake, Lake Geneva, Fontana, and Williams Bay as very nice towns, and when I say nice, I mean there is lots of $$ there. Lake Geneva in the early to mid 1900’s was the getaway location for the rich of Chicago. Trains used to take them here for weekend getaways as it is fairly close. Lot’s of mansions including the Wrigley Estate owned by the Owners of the Chicago Cubs and Gum producer.

One interesting thing about Lake Geneva is that the public has a right to the entire shoreline and there is even a trail around the entire lake. You can walk right trough these mansions back yards though you are required to stay on the path. I have not done this yet but plan to walk the entire lake someday in sections.

Chris and I leave Williams Bay and are past 15 miles now and hit the busy road of Hwy 50 for 2 miles. We get to Snake Road, which by its name, winds a lot and but also has some good hills on it. Chris takes off and does the last 3+ miles at about 7 pace and I just keep up the pace we have been running. I end up finishing the 20.63 miles at a pace of close to 9:09, right at 4 hour marathon pace. I was even able to pick it up the final mile, though it was mostly downhill, so that helped.

Chris had to meet someone close by so he took off and I bought myself a big Chocolate Milk and heard the lake calling my name. So I decided to walk into the lake and cool off the legs. The water was cool but not cold and helped the legs recover a little faster. I know some of you take ice baths after long runs and I know this helps so I thought a walk in the lake would help, and it did. Some of the people in the tourist pleasure cruise boats were looking at me like I was nuts, it was only in the mid 60’s by this time so I am sure they felt it was cold but it felt so good to me. If I were them, I would most likely feel the same. “What is that crazy guy walking in the lake for in his shorts and tshirt carrying a bottle of Chocolate Milk for?”

It was a good run!

Did any of you watch any of the Track and Field World Championships this last week? I did and in my next post, I will try to share some of my thoughts on it.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

A Light Week Ahead . . . Until Saturday

I finally got in to see the Chiropractor yesterday. He did some quick adjustments on my back and then started in on my ankle issue. He was poking and prodding trying to figure out what to do. He did a little adjusting while we talked about my long run over the weekend. He is a great Dr. for athletes as he does what he can to "keep you in the game". He suggested I take Monday off of running so I did. I had Volleyball anyways so that was my exercise for the day.

Volleyball went good for most of the match. It had rained some that day and the night before so the sand was harder than usual. This did not help as 2/3's of the way through the final game, after I went up for a spike, I landed hard and flat footed on my right foot with the ankle issue. It hurt some landing and it hurt some the rest of the game. I hope I didn't pop it right out of place again. We will see as I have another appointment on Wednesday.

Today I ran 5 miles with Mike after work. We ran sort of easy as my legs were still tired from the 23 miler and he was a bit tired as he ran 65 miles last week, a big jump for him. I felt better as the run kept going which was good. My legs do feel like I just ran a marathon this past weekend and in some sorts, they almost did put forth that much amount of effort. I have decided that this week will be an easy week until Saturday when I meet up with Chris for a long run.

Saturday's long run should be fun and tough. We will be meeting in Lake Geneva, WI at 6:00 AM to run completely around the lake. Chris has measured it at 20 miles and will will be running at 8:45's to 9:00 pace. There will be hills again and the final 2 miles is on Snake Rd. I ran a 10K on this road once and it is "hillacious". Once again, a true test of running on tired legs. I hope this is helping me for this fall's marathons.

On a different note, congratulations to Melanie for her PR in a 5K this weekend. Great Job, Melanie!!! She writes about how she doesn't like 5K's all that much but feels she needs to do them at times. I like 5K's myself and wish I could do more of them. I have told you all before that the shorter the race, the better I do compared to others. But that is just me.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

The Long Lapham Peak Run

Yes, a nice long 23. Well maybe not all nice, but it was definitely long. I woke up early and drove to my old house in West Allis by 5:30AM. Got the garmin synched up and off I was running by myself. It was very humid out and even some fog in low areas. It was in the upper 60's already and the sun had not peeked out. Not a cloud in the sky. Beautiful weather . . . unless you are planning on running 23 miles.

I started out slow. I averaged 9:03 for the first 5 miles. No sun yet. After 5, I picked up the pace some and started to get into my rhythm. The next 5 miles averaged 8:39. The sun finally popped out at mile 7 and the temps instantly rise. I got to just after mile 10 and got to the parking lot of Fox River Sanctuary and after a minute, found Mike right after he drove in. I said I was going to keep going and he could catch up to me (He is a 3 hour marathoner). A few steps later I heard the loud blast of a train that is on the tracks I need to cross in about 1/3 of a mile. I pick it up and get to the tracks before the train but see it down the tracks less than 1/4 mile down coming toward me. It is going slow as it is going through the town but now I wonder if Mike will make it. I look back but I had entered a wooded bike trail area and could not see him. I keep going.

The train catches me and is very loud and suddenly Mike catches me. He beat the train by a mere 100 feet. We chat a bit and I keep up the good pace. It is hot now. The sun is beating down and the trail offer not much shade as we are running mostly west. At least the sun is not in out faces. Mike usually runs much faster but he is running slow with me for the day. We do the next 5 miles at an average of 8:56. Still good but the legs are beginning to feel it. We have also begun the climb up the railroad grade hills. It is about 3 or so miles and up around 250 feet. This is from Mile 14 to 17.

I am beginning to fade now. Miles 16 to 19 average average 9:24 but at least after the trail levels of, i do get a mile in at 8:54, my last sub 9 minute mile. We finally leave the trail at mile 19, take a small walk break and prepare ourselves for the killer hills now coming. We turn onto Hwy C and go up and down for a mile but only climb about 80 feet. The looms GOVERNMENT HILL RD. Even the name suggests problems. We take a short break just before is and my legs are mosty dead but I tell myself to run all the way up until the tower. Government Hill Rd is only 0.4 miles long but climbs up 180 feet. And the sun is directly in our faces with no breeze. AARRGGHH. Once at the top, we start a grass trail that still rises another 30 feet over 0.35 miles. That is a total of 210 feet over 3/4 of a mile. I think I averaged 10:24 pace for the hill, surprisingly faster that I thought I would. I do believe I mentioned in earlier post that this run simulated tired legs of a marathon and my legs are dead.

We get to the tower and now climb up it. This is an observation tower so we can't go past it without climbing it, right?!?! No chance at running up, close to crawling but it is a walk. We stay for about 30 seconds lookout out at the highest point in Waukesha County. Beautiful views of lakes and landscapes of all sorts. Farms, Neighborhoods, many lakes, school, etc. I take a longer break once down the tower and compose myself for the final 2 miles. No, we are not done yet!!!

We drop 275 feet over the next mile and a quarter but the legs are toast. We take an extra long break just before we leave the park. Less than a mile to go and again I say I will run to the end. I go and see the final hill looming in the distance with a 1/4 mile to the finish. Up 50 feet. We finish and I am done for. Exhausted in my legs. The stomach isn't feeling too good either. I really wanted to finish this in a sub 4 hour marathon pace. Without the heat (it rose to the mid 80's by the end) and the hills, this would mean I am right on track for a good marathon time this fall. 4 hour marathon pace is 9:09 per mile. My finish average pace (minus the tower climb as I don't cover any distance during that) was 9:15. I am pleased but not fully. While I could have run/walked 3.2 more miles, there is no way I could have done it faster than maybe 11:30 pace. This would have put me at 4:09. But I did run 50 miles this week so as I write this, I get more pleased as time goes on.

I really want to break 4 hours this fall and I really think I am on track to actually run about a 3:45. I am giving myself 2 chances this fall. Oct 10 in Ashland, WI, at the Whistle Stop Marathon. No real hills up in this race and a net drop of something like 500 or 600 feet. Then 4 weeks later a The Indianapolis Monumental Marathon, I don't know what this course is like. I am hoping for cool weather, I like it almost cold. 40's are great with no wind. Wind is my enemy. I will take what I get though as all of us do. My best race in recent times was a cold one like I suggested but I have run the Chicago Meltdown Marathon as well and still finished.

Hey, please let me know what type of weather you like best for a race. I am curious what others like. Maybe you like it hot or maybe cold like me. Maybe you like drizzle or maybe sun. Maybe you like a breeze and maybe calm. We are all different.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Keep on Going

OK, I know I haven't been keeping up on my blog posts as much as in the past. I think this has everything to do with that it is summer and there are just more things to do. That being said, I wanted to keep you devoted readers up to date on me and the running and all the other stuff. All 2, 3, or 4 of you. OK, maybe more, but not too many.

As I wrote last time, I had a great run on Monday that I called a Slump Buster. Never fear, the slump is far in the rear view mirror so far and not catching up. I did runs a Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday (today) and all felt pretty good. Tuesday was a 7 miler at an average of 8:35. I wasn't trying to go fast, just an easy pace. It was also very humid up here so I did not want to push it. I rarely run without my shirt on but I certainly have the past 3 days. Lots of gross sweat.

Wednesday was 6 miles at 8:39 pace and today was 5 miles at 8:30 pace. So I am at 27 miles for the week so far and with Saturday's run of 23 still planned, I will hit 50 for the week. This is a total I very rarely hit. Even in college I was in the low to mid 40's most of the time. But I was a middle distance runner as well.

I am still not sure who (if anyone) will be joining me on Saturday. Chaz has bailed and I have not heard from Mike yet. If he runs, he would only run the last 12 or 13 with me as he is still getting over the knee problem he has. Paul is out too, sore leg. Oh well, I have run by myself often so no biggie there. The weather is calling for sunny and 65 at 6:00AM and sunny and 75 by 9:00AM. I think I will start around 5:30 to 6:00 and hope to be done in 3:15 to 3:30. I would love an under 9:00 average but the massive hills near the end might have other ideas. I will try and do my best anyways. This is a good training run in temps that hotter that I like to race in. (I love a cold marathon, 40 at the start and maybe 45 by the end).

As I sit here typing, I am letting the old Garmin run out of juice. It is almost like the battery has a memory, does anyone else have this problem? I want it totally out before I recharge. I don't want it to go out during the run.

By the way, I took Melissa, my oldest princess out for 1 mile today. She is up to 13 1/2 miles so far with under 1 month before the final mile of the Kid's Marathon. We have fun on the runs, they don't take too long but we talk and comment on what we see.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Slump Buster

I know recently i have been saying that I was in sort of a running slump of sorts. I wasn't too motivated to get out there and bust out some fast miles and my ankle wasn't feeling the best either. Well, last week was a very easy week. I only ran 3 days (I think) and I took off Friday, Saturday, AND Sunday. I actually went camping again with a friend so that worked out to be a good excuse.

Today is a new week though and time to ramp up the mileage once again. It was also a Volleyball night so I got to the courts 1 hour and 45 minutes early and off I was on a 9 miler. I knew right off the bat that this was going to be a good run. I could feel it and with the 3 days off, I felt so good. I did my usual route from Volleyball and mile 1 & 2 were at 8:20 and 8:29. Still felt good. Had water at mile 3 and felt good. Turned around at mile 4 1/2 and felt good. Picked it up some and had more water at mile 6. Feeling really good. Pushed the last 3 miles and made it up the big hill with 1 mile to go and dropped my average mile pace to 8:10 by the end. My shirt was drenched with sweat as it was very humid and in the 80's. But all in all it felt really good.

This run brought back some confidence I was lacking the past few weeks and the motivation to get back to training hard. I am trying my best to not let the ankle get in the way of training hard. I do need to get the the Chiro again for and adjustment there so ti will heal, but no complaints.

I am not sure how many miles this week calls for but I do plan on running a long one this Saturday. I I may meet up with Chaz for the Lapham Peak Run as we call it. It is a run from my old house in West Allis out to Lapham Peak Park in Delafield, up the observation tower once, and then 2 more miles to the park & ride lot for a total of 23 miles and a net uphill climb to the tower of over 500 feet with over half of that in the last mile to mile and a half before the tower. I really like this run because it is so difficult and it simulates a marathon well. The hills at the end really make you work when your legs have had enough. I hope to maintain a good pace but have not figured out what that pace ought to be. I hope to recruit a few more runners to join us. I hope Mike and Paul can join us even if it is only half way.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Icebreaker Marathon Sign Up

I signed up today for the 2010 InStep Icebreaker Indoor Marathon. (I know the logo says 2009, they have not updates it yet). Sign up began on Monday so I wanted to be one of the first in and now I am. It is hard to think of a winter marathon in the heat of the summer. It will be cold in January, and even though I will be running indoors, I will be running around ice the entire marathon.

There are differences this year at the Icebreaker from last year. First of all, they added a half marathon. Actually they added 2 half marathons. WHAT?!?! Yes, since the capacity of the track that the race is run on at the Pettit National Ice Center is so low (120 runners per race), they added 2 half marathons both to take place on Saturday, January 23rd. One starting at 7:00 AM, the next at 9:30AM. In the entry form, they asked for an estimated finishing time so they could put the faster runners in the first race, and the not as fast in the second race.

They have also added a Marathon Relay to take place on Saturday as well at 1:00PM. 120 teams will be allowed to run. If you have ever run a marathon relay, they usually have specific exchange areas, well in this race, since you run 95.3 laps, you pass the exchange zone 95 times. Teams of 4 can exchange whenever they want. And I am not certain on this, but runners can run more than once for their team. You could even exchange every lap if your team wanted to. I am not sure these are the rules, but I heard they may be.

The marathon will take place on Sunday, January 24th at 8:00AM. This race will be the same as last year but they bumped up the entries to 120 so the track should be a little more crowded than last year when 87 (I think) started the race.

So which race did I choose to enter? I chose the Gold Medal Challenge. This is open to only 40 runners who are crazy enough to run the half marathon on Saturday and then run the full marathon on Sunday. Yes, I am that crazy, yet again. This is modeled just like the Disney Goofy Challenge but in this case, I can sleep in my own bed between the races. I don't have to drive 4 hours between races like I did for the Heart of Texas Challenge.

I am pumped and excited for this challenge. My friend Chris is still the race director for this marathon and Paul will be joining me in doing the Gold Medal Challenge but I am not training for this one just yet. I do have 2 other marathons I am aiming for before this one. The Whistle Stop marathon in Ashland, WI in October and The Indianapolis Monumental Marathon in November. That is if my ankle heals up by then.

I hope all your training is going well and your mid summer slumps are short if at all. Keep Running!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Door County Pictures & a Slump

I have been in a funk recently. Yesterday I was going to do my usual mid length weekday run before volleyball but I only did 5. Today I left work and just decided not to run at all. I don't feel very motivated lately. I seem to be in the summer slump and need to get out of this within the week. Tomorrow is a planned run with Mike after work so that should help.

As I promised earlier, I have some pictures from Door County. I hope you enjoy:

This is 2 of the princesses a top of the Eagle Tower overlooking Nicolet Bay in Peninsula State Park. Megan is on the left and Melissa is on the right.

Megan and Melissa at Eagle Terrace close to Eagle Tower overlooking Eagle Harbor. Get the idea? Ironically, on Thursday, I saw a bald eagle from a top the Eagle Tower and it was the first time I have ever seen an eagle up in Door County.

This is a view of the town of Ephraim. I used to go there for a week every summer growing up.

A view from Eagle Terrace. That and the Eagle Tower are the best views in Door County. At least in my opinion.

The family reunion was held at the Landmark Resort in Egg Harbor. The pool is located near the cliff and the views of the sunset are spectacular here.

Melissa and Megan really liked the over sized Adirondack Chair in Fish Creek.

Here's to killing the slump!!!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

The Door County Long Run (In Reverse)

I woke up this morning to pouring rain. Not a good sign for a long run so I delayed it a bit. We ended up meeting my parents in Peninsula State Park for a hike in the late morning after the rained have ended and the sun came out. The winds were blowing but temps were good. My parents agreed to watch the kids while I ran back to the hotel they were staying at.

The run was not the way I had planned it before I came up. I actually did 2 things differently. 1.) I ran the course backwards and 2.) I ran mostly on roads and the tree cover was so much that the GPS for my Garmin was in and out quite often not allowing an accurate distance measurement and that happened to come true.

1 mile into the run and I hit the first somewhat big hill. No problem as I cruised up it and kept going. Running in the middle of this park is nice as there few cars that go by and only a few bikers. Only me, the road, and nature. After 2 miles I know the GPS is off as I know I did not run a 10 minute mile there. My first break was right were I started 5 miles into the run. A little water and a Gu and a pebble removal for the shoe and I continue on. I see the others coming back from their hike, say a quick hello, give a quick "air hug" to my kids and off I go. Air hugs are hugs where you do not touch as I was quite sweaty.

I get to the park entrance at close to mile 10 and take break number 2. As I run though the town of Fish Creek (a quaint little touristy town with lots of shops and B&B's), I see 2 of my uncles entering a pub. "Have one for me" I yell to them and I continue on. I get to Hair Pin Turn hill and this goes on for awhile as I turn onto Gibraltar Bluff Road. When will this hill end??? I get to the end of this road and as I turn, I scare up a small deer that darts out of the bushes and jogs around a clump of trees. Beautiful deer. This is about the time I notice my legs are starting to not feel so good. I am about 14 miles in and the hills have taken their toll on my. I knew my pace was slowing but I wasn't sure how much as the GPS was unreliable.

I go down a steep decline to White Cliff road and really feel tired. I keep going but need a break after only 2 miles. I am drained and I know I did not eat enough before hand and the Gu wasn't doing the trick. I also did not get enough rest the night before. I get to Egg Harbor (these towns have interesting names huh) and still have about 2 more miles. I hit a short but steep hill in town and have to walk some. I then keep going and have 1 more big long hill ahead of me. It is the longest and tallest so I dig deep and struggle my way to the top. As I turn the last turn, I get to the entrance to the hotel complex right at 2 hours, 29 minutes, and 56 seconds (yes, i ran 4 more seconds and stopped the watch right at 3 hours even.

I am tired and glad to be done. My ankle is sore but I can still move. I don't know my distance yet but the GPS says 18.68 miles. I know this is off and I did check on line at Gmap-pedometer and clocked it there. I was right, it was way off. I actually ran 19.70 miles. Had I known this, I would have ran 0.3 miles more but I had enough. So my pace ended up at 9:09 per mile, the exact pace for a 4 hour marathon but there was no way I could have kept that up for 6.5 more miles.

I recovered rather quickly by being in the pool as the kids were in there for another 2 1/2 hours. Like I said, they love to swim.

Dinner was nice as most of my cousins and their kids and all my aunt and uncles on my mom's side were up there. Lots of nice conversations, cute little babies to see, and of course, good food. We pack up and leave tomorrow but I think 1 more trip to Wilson's is in order. I am driving my cousin Scott to the Milwaukee airport from here. It will be nice to spend about 3 hours talking to him. He is a scientist at the University of North Carolina and we talk running a lot when we see each other. He used to run but only up to 12 miles at a time, still not bad at all.

This long run obviously did not give me confidence but I know what I did wrong and what to improve on. My ankle is still an issue but as it is adjusted, I am told it will still be sore due to the new positions of the bones. This was the case with my back as well.

Kids Love To Have Fun

I did a morning run again on Thursday. I felt sluggish again and just didn't feel like fighting it so I did my 5 miles @ 8:42 pace. I got it done early so I could take 2 of the 3 princesses with me up to Door County. That is where I am writing this post from. Actually I am at my campsite in the Pop-up since the campground has Wi-Fi. I did take some pictures while I was up here to show you all the beauty of Door County and I will post them soon. I just hope they can show the real beauty but I suppose that is the case with all places.

Thursday I drove the Melissa (7 1/2) and Megan (5) first up to Green Bay. This is almost on the way. We stopped at Bay Beach Amusement Park. This is a great little park with cheap rides for kids and teenagers. I think it was listed in the top 10 of some list of cheap family amusement places. It was drizzling a little but not enough to stop us from doing the Ferris wheel, small train and bumper cars and having them ride the Merry-Go-Round, Scrambler, spinning swings and various small rides for the little ones. Each ride is only 25 or 50 cents each. Like I said, a great place for little kids.

After about 2 hours, we left for the 1 hour ride to Door County. We got there, set up camp and then the rains came. Good time for a short nap. After the rain stopped, a short ride to Wilson's for dinner and Ice Cream (of Course), a trip to the indoor pool and a small campfire and off to bed.

Friday was a gorgeous day so I took them biking in Peninsula State Park. We did about 10 miles or so and them took in some sights from the tower and the bluff lookouts. We even saw a bald eagle on a perch looking over the water. I wish I had my camera, it was beautiful. Another trip to Wilson's for more Ice Cream (can you tell I like this place) and then a short swim in the lake. The water was not too cold but not warm either. We then hooked up with my parents at the hotel they were at and the kids went swimming for 3 hours. I think they like to swim. Melissa can now even swim on her own finally. She need practice of course but she will jump into the deep end, pop up and swim to the edge. Dinner with my family and the some Wii as my brother took it up. Melissa is actually a good bowler for never trying it before. Just the weirdest approach you have ever seen though with a front leg kick at then end.

Long run in the morning so I will post that in a different post.