Saturday, October 31, 2009

A Nice Trip to Naples, Florida

I have been gone for a little while and I learned when I get there, I had no Internet access therefore, no posts.. So where did I go? I was in Naples, FL for a 1 week vacation and it was nice. Down there, they were having record high (or close to it) temperatures which was fine with me. It was sunny most days and in the lower 90's with high humidity. It was like the summer I never got in Wisconsin.

It was more of a relaxing vacation instead of the usual run around and get as much in as possible. I did splurge a little and rented a Sebring Convertible which ended up being a great decision based on the weather we had. had a great price for a weeks rental. I was staying on a golf resort and didn't even do one round. What is my problem?

I did get 3 runs in while I was there, all in the morning as during the day would have been quite hot. It was hot enough in the morning with the humidity and all. I did get in a race as well. I found a nice 8K put on by the local running club, Gulf Coast Runners, called the Crazy 8 Halloween 8K. It was a nice race and I will tell you all about it in a race report in the next post or so.

I was able to get a few fun things in while I was there. I drove to Miami one day and spent some time on South Beach and saw some "interesting" sites while there. I won't go into detail as I want to keep it clean here. The water in Miami was very warm and was nice to swim in.

One day I went to Everglades City and took an Airboat Tour. This was pretty cool. We had a pelican land on the boat before we even started the tour. It was right next to me and when it flew from the side of the boat to the landing in front, it smacked its wing on my head. Very friendly bird but it was just waiting for the fish the driver had. The ride through the swamps and mangroves was a blast and we even got some good speed going at times. We stopped a few times and saw some alligators along the way.

Since the princesses were at Grandma's and Grandpa's for the week, I was able to do what ever I wanted to whenever I wanted to, a nice feeling. Some of you without kids don't know what you have! I missed them a lot on the trip but it was nice to get a break. I even saw 2 movies on the trip. "Couple's Retreat" was an OK movie. It had its funny parts but was a typical Vince Vaughn movie. I also went to see "This Is It", the Michael Jackson movie about the planning of his last concerts that never happened. While this was not like seeing his concert, it was pretty cool to see how it was going to be done. I can tell you it would have been one hell of a great concert if it happened. The behind the scenes stuff was neat to see.

I did not want to leave the Naples area, but it was time to go home. Now it is 4:15 and Trick or Treat begins in a little less than 2 hours. This is one of the fun things you get to do as a parent, trick or treat with your kids. I think we have a 50's Poodle Skirt girl, a Sleeping Beauty type princess, and another princess going out tonight. It is windy here today and about 40 out so there will be many layers underneath tonight.

By the way, I know I had mentioned that I was going to run the Indianapolis Marathon next Saturday. Well, I am still planning on running but there is a chance I may miss it. There are some issues with my family that I will need to deal with this week that may take me away from it. Also, my ankle got a real beating walking down the beach a lot. I know, poor me, walking down the beach along the Ocean, but the camber of the beach gave my ankle some pain so that might be an issue. Right now I would say I am going to be running, I hope to, but we will see.

Good Luck to Mark running tomorrow in his marathon.

Here are a few pictures from Florida:

Here is the friendly Pelican that came for a visit.

Nice alligator, nice CLOSE alligator.

The Naples Pier, lots of people fishing and dolphins swimming near by.

Me on the Naples Pier.

The resort was on a very nice looking golf course. I wish I could have played a round!

The view from the condo along the golf course.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Beautiful Fall Weather and Colors

It was a warmer day today. I think it got up to 70 which meant a warmer run today. Mike and I went on a 4 miler at an easy pace and that was good with me. My legs felt a little tired bit not too bad. I am having some more issues with the ankle but I hope to get through it.

I will be getting away for awhile so I am not sure I will be blogging during this time. I don't know if I will have Internet access. If I do, I will certainly try to get a race report in on the 8K I plan on running on Sunday morning. But what I really wanted to do is send out some luck to my friend Mark who will be running the Pro Bass Shops Marathon in Missouri next Sunday, November 1st. Run smart and have a great time, Mark, you have trained great not get to it!

Do you like fall colors? Right now, it is at its peak here in the Milwaukee area. It is a real treat to see these when the sun is shining wither in the morning or on my way back home from work. The first picture is of a tree in my front yard.

On Saturday, I went with my 2 oldest princess to a pumpkin farm and we picked out these 3 pumpkins which we (me) carved this week. Guess who had to carry all of them back from the field? It was all good though and the girls really like their pumpkins.

So if I don't get online before next weekend, have a happy and safe Halloween. And happy and safe running too!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Whistle Stop Pictures

It has been over a week since the Whistle Stop Marathon and after a slow start, I feel like I am back to normal and mostly recovered. My left quad is a little tight still but that didn't stop me from having a really good run today.

I wanted to go do a somewhat easy 5 miler. I started late as I needed to get some new tires for the van. So at about 6:10PM, I started out and I felt great from the start. I kept slowly increasing the pace and by the 5th mile, I decided to slow up some since I wasn't planning on a tempo run. I ended up running a little over 5 miles at 8:13 pace and feeling like it was relatively easy. I didn't want to go too fast as I am still planning on running an 8K race on Sunday. That will be my tempo run for the time between marathons. I am still planning on running the Indianapolis Monumental Marathon on November 7 (?) but not 100% sure yet. It is a nice flat course so I think I could run well there.

I thought I would share a couple pictures from the Whistle Stop Marathon. As you can see in t he first picture, it is cold out since I am wearing ear muffs and socks on my hands? Socks on my hands???? Yes, I do that instead of gloves for a few reasons. Keeping my fingers together keeps them warmer and early in the race, I was carrying AccelGel and that way i didn't have to worry about dropping them. OK, you can call me a cheap guy, but it works for me and why spend $$ on gloves when you don't have to?

This second picture is me coming down to the finish line. My last 2 miles were fairly good compared to 21, 22, & 23. A strong finish feels good.


Friday, October 16, 2009

Back To The Good

What a difference a few days make.

I took off Wednesday and Thursday to let the body recover a bit more. So after work today, I decided on another 4 miler. It was about 45F out and misting as I set out onto a trail near where I work for 2 loops. The first mile went very smooth and so did the second. I went onto the second loop and actually picked it up some as i felt really good. I did not wear the garmin so I do not know exactly how far I went but I am guessing a little over 4 miles and I am guessing at about 8:20 to 8:30 pace. On the second loop, the mist turned into light rain but I like running in the rain so it was all good.

Afterwards, my left quad was a bit tight but that is gone now. I am not as concerned about it as I was a few days ago. And now I am thinking more about running in Indianapolis in 3 weeks. Right now Paul is planning on going (let's hope he doesn't cancel this time, lol) and I am hoping to get Chaz to come as well. I would give it a 50/50 chance on him going.

Indianapolis is another Saturday marathon. I think I like these. Take the day off on Friday to travel, get up early on Saturday, run a marathon, and then drive home and be home by bed time. Then have all day Sunday to rest and relax. It is about a 5 hour drive to Indianapolis so it is actually 1 hour less than he drive to Whistle Stop.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Who is Your Harshest Critic?

Who is your harshest critic? I can certainly say that I am my own harshest critic. I have now run 18 marathons and in every one, except for maybe 1, I have come away feeling like I did my best. Now I am not saying that I didn't run well on Saturday, I did run a sub 4, something I haven't done since October 2007, but I look back and see that I need some improvement.

My quads were tired all week prior to the race and that was the thing toward the end of the race that slowed me down. So what do I have to do to make my quads less tired at race time while making sure they are strong enough to go the entire 26.2 miles? Longer taper? Better food for energy? Quad massage? I don't know. And I assume that this is an individual thing so what may work for others does not work for me.

One thing I worked on this year is putting in more miles in training and I think that I still didn't put in enough. I feel I need some longer slower runs as well as longer faster runs. I also missed out on a lot of speed work this summer. I really don't think this is the issue though. I need more stamina, more endurance but maybe the hard speed work will do that also.

So I go on now trying to figure this marathon thing out. And I try to recover from this last marathon which is taking longer than usual. I went on a 4 mile run yesterday and it was one of the worst runs in a looooooong time. The first mile went well but 2 and 3 were slow and wobbly. I even walked some as I felt a little dizzy (wonder what that was all about?) I still am having some issues with my left quad. It is still sore and I think I maybe strained it or pulled it a little in the race.

I am going to take some more time off and maybe run a short one on Friday. I do have another race on the horizon and I don't mean a marathon. I am going down to Florida next week for a bit and I found a little local 8K to run in. I checked results from past years and it looks like no one from outside Florida runs this one so it may be fun being the outsider. In any event, it will be nice to go somewhere warm since we have had some cold weather here the past week and this coming week. It is not like I built up a huge sweat at Whistle Stop but I am sure I will at this one.

So who is your biggest critic? Never stop trying to improve yourself!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Race Report - Whistle Stop Marathon

No suspense today. I did not run great but I ran good and finished in 3:55:47. A Sub 4!

I woke up at 5:00 AM to after a restless night. I get that a lot the night before a marathon. I guess I am just excited about the race all the time. Anyways, I looked outside and saw that the snow was flying. As you can see from the picture, it was blowing pretty good as well.

After a big bowl of oatmeal, I left at about 6 to drive to Ashland. The drive was a little nervous as the snow was blowing pretty good, it was still dark out so in the lights of the car, it made it a little difficult to see. Add to that the roads were not dry, a touch icy, and it made for a slower drive in. I get to Ashland safely and board the bus to go to the start line.

At the starting area, there is about an inch of snow on the ground and it was (I am guessing) 28F out. A bunch of us are in a lodge house waiting for the start and one guy really made the mood light by saying to another runner "So, are you running this race barefoot?" That cracked us all up.
Out at the start line, about 2 minutes before the start as everyone is lined up, a gust of wind blows a bunch of the snow from the trees down on us. That woke everyone else up who could possibly been sleepy still. The race started on time at 9:00AM and off we all went. The first 1.75 miles was on a road going to the trail we would run for most of the race. At times, it was icy and we all had to be cautious not to slip and fall. I didn't see anyone fall so that was good.

I get to the trail and discover that there is snow on it but at least a little packed down since there are a bunch of runners ahead of me. The trail is pretty soft though, it is like running on a soft cinder track. This caused a few problems during the race as the little pebbles were flying and quite a few got into my shoes while running. I saw many people stop to remove their shoes to get the pebbles out, but of all the pebbles I had in my shoes, it never quite got to the point of me stopping to do so.

My ultimate goal in this race was to run a time of 3:45 but after about 10 miles, I knew that 3:45 was not going to happen. I had a tendon in my leg that was a little sore but not bad. My quads were a little tired as well but not enough to slow down yet. I went through 10 at 1:26:55 and now it was time for the 13 miles of downhill. Let me tell you, it never seemed like we were ever going downhill. I think the soft surface took any advantage of a slight downhill away.

By mile 18, I was still going all miles sub 9 pace but now it when I usually have trouble. I was still relaxed but the pace went from sub 9's to 9:00 to 9:35 through mile 23. On my pace band I made, I also wrote down at what points all the aid stations were and this helped because I forced myself to NOT do any walk breaks when there wasn't an aid station. Just at the Garmin beeped Mile 23, there was an aid station, and there also was one at 23.9 so I had a very slow mile there with 2 breaks (10:32).

Now I was getting worried about not being able to break 4 hours if I had a meltdown. I really didn't want ANOTHER meltdown. I started to attempt to do some math in my head as to what pace I needed to run to still break 4. I knew it was a little over 10 minute miles and that my last mile was slow so I tried to focus more and pick up the pace and it started to work.

At 24.5 miles, we leave the cinder trail and start on a paved trail going into Ashland. All day it was quite windy out but even with the wind primarily going the direction the race was going, it didn't factor at all since the entire race up until here was all protected from the trees. But at 24.5, the trail opened up and the wind felt great on our backs. This helped even more and I started passing people. Mile 25 was back down to 9:03 and I decided to just skip the aid station at mile 25 and pour it on. While it hurt at this point, I knew the finish was minutes away. I continued passing people which helped a lot until the finish line.

After the race, it was cold, no, I take that back, it was @#$% cold. The winds were blowing hard and the temperature was in the low 30's so that combined with the sweat I built up made lots of shivering until I could warm up inside. After a warm shower and some hot chocolate, it was time for the long 6+ hour drive home. I was able to get home by 8:45.

Here are some of my thoughts about the race (not my race). This was a nice smaller marathon. I think there was just under 900 finishers. While I can't fault them at all for the weather and snow, it was a small factor in the race. The race is run for 22+ miles on a cinder trail that is quite wide but very soft and not ideal for a fast running time. It does drop 500 or so feet from miles 9 to 23, but I could not feel this at all. The soft cinder trail did cause issues with a lot of runner I saw and not just being slow. Lots of little pebbles made it into shoes and that was a problem. The course did prove to be quite beautiful running through all the trees and forests and over quite a few trestles. There were not many people cheering on the runners as there were not too many places they could get to. The trail is just too far off the roads. The last 1/4 mile of the course was a bit ridiculous though. I think there was 6 turns in the last 1/4 mile so you did not see the finish line until about 50 meters before it. I would prefer a longer straight away to the finish line. The participants in the race were fun to run with. Some were talkative and encouraging as we went along. The aid stations were nice for the size of the race and they really braved it out in the cold. Thanks for being there! It was so cold that at the first 2 water stops, my water cup had a very thin layer of ice. The volunteers were great!

The start area was small and because it was so cold, there wasn't much room to stay warm in the lodge. There was plenty of portolets at the start area, a line that looked long at first moved very fast before the race. If you are looking for a nice expo, this is not the race to come to. An area to buy some running apparel and one other marathon advertising. the pre-race pasta and fish boil dinner was good though. I had a nice sized plate of spaghetti which was quite tasty.

Overall I would say that this is a nice race but not a great race. I am not sure I will be coming back but it is possible. I do like trying new races though.

I am happy with my time. It would be hard to complain since I hadn't broken 4 hours in my last 9 marathons though I still believe I should be able to run about 3:40 to 3:45. Maybe the next one!

The race expo and pasta dinner was held in a hockey arena on the board covered ice rink. Now that is what northern Wisconsin is all about.

As you can see, the car had some snow on it before I left in the morning.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Running Tomorrow

I am sitting here in my hotel room in Ironwood, MI right now about to go to sleep before tomorrow's marathon. I feel I ma ready to run a good time. Let's hope I can run smart. According to, it is suppose to be 30F and light snow at 8:00 AM but at 9:00 when the race starts, it should be 33 and mostly sunny. Then at Noon, it says windy, 20 mph, but from the WSW. We run mostly to the east so that is OK with me.

I find myself during race week, looking at the forecast often. I guess I just want to prepare myself as best as I can. I am sure a lot of you do the same even though there is nothing we can do about it, interesting, huh.

So I drove the 6 1/2 hours up here this morning and afternoon. I stopped in Oshkosh and visited with my former college coach for awhile and gave him a donation to the program. then a leisurely drive 'up nort'. The colors of the trees up here is Ironwood & Ashland seem to be past peak but on the way up, particularly in Stevens Point and Wausau were outstanding. I will try to get some pics on the way home. Hopefully the sun will come out allowing better pictures.

I went to the Expo and pasta dinner and just got back to the room. The Expo and dinner was held on an Ice Hockey Rink! They had the boards down but it was kind of crazy being on the rink. The pasta dinner was really good but I ate alone. Kind of hard to meet people so I sat at a table alone and hoped someone would join me, no luck. Oh well, maybe next time.

Time for some rest now. Wish me some luck tomorrow and I wish all others running this weekend the best of luck, Have great races!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Controversy at The Lakefront Marathon

I west on my final run before the WhistleStop Marathon today. 3 miles and it felt so easy so I hope that is a good sign for Saturday. We will see.

So the Lakefront Marathon was last Sunday here in Milwaukee and it went well, except if you were one of the leading women in the race. Most of what I say here is only what I have heard has happened so please don't take this as truth's, but as what I have heard it to be. But here is the story so far.

Cassie Pellar won the race on Sunday in a time of just over 3 hours. BUT, she was disqualified after the race. It seems she took water from a kid along the course as well as "took a sip" of water from her family who jumped out of a car along the course and gave it to her. The ruling is that she accepted aid along the course and thus should be DQ'd. This cause some uproar here in Milwaukee and even was on talk radio. A lot of people thought this was unfair as it is stated on the Lakefront website, well, I can't put it here because I just went to the site and the rule are now changed. Basically it said, until yesterday that is, that you can only take water from a designated aid station OR family and friends "adjacent" to an aid station. Now it is easy for me to see that getting water in a mile from an aid station would not qualify as adjacent, but then why say you CAN take water from family of friend at all.

The Lakefront Marathon is the USATF Wisconsin Marathon Championships and $500 goes to the winner, but to me, this is a ridiculous ruling. The spirit of the rule was not to disqualify people in a smaller marathon like Lakefront, but keep rules for the larger major marathons and Championships.

The disqualifications do not end there. This morning I read that now the 2nd place woman, Jennifer Goebel, was also DQ'd because she used her iPod from miles 19 to 21. he reason she was found to be using this is that there was a picture taken of her wearing (but not ear buds in and listening) her iPod. The rules here specifically say that a person going for a USATF championship CANNOT wear listening devises. This one seems more cut and dry to me but yet also seems to be off the point as to the spirit of the rule. I would not have DQ's her but I can understand why they did. So now the 3rd place woman is now the official winner. Crazy!

A side note I just remembered. As I looked at the name "Jennifer Goebel" and it is who I thought it was. She is from Lombard, IL and when I ran the Grand Rapids Marathon in 2007, she was one of the pacers in the group I ran with. She was an awesome pacer and got me to my goal. She was very friendly and we even talked quite a bit along the course. Now I feel even worse for her since I know how nice she really is.

Let's hope that this is the end of the trouble at Lakefront.

Good Luck to all of you running in Chicago this weekend and all the other races around the country. A special good luck to Melanie returning to marathoning this weekend in Chicago.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

4 Days To Go

I am trying to get extra sleep this week. Normally during the week, I get somewheres between 6 and 7 hours, but this week I really should get 8+ so I will try to get to bed early tonight.

Am I ready for the marathon this weekend? I sure hope so. I know I can run 26.2 miles. I know I can run it in under 4 hours. But knowing and doing are 2 entirely different things. I have proven that the last 8 or so marathons I have run. Each time I knew I could break 4 hours and each time I didn't. There were a variety of reasons as to why it did not happen but it all comes down to the fact that I just didn't get it done. I have trained hard this summer. Not as hard as I could have, but hard none-the-less. I will try to run smart to take my breaks where needed and not go out too fast.

The weather looks quite interesting as of now for Ashland, Wisconsin on Saturday. The low the night before is forecasted at 30F (Brrrrrrr) and a high of only 42F. I am not upset about this because if you have read my blog in the past, you will remember that I like it cold. It get interesting because the forecast also calls for some rain (and maybe snow) and 15 mph winds. Good news, the wind is suppose to come FROM the West and the race is a point to point course going mostly FROM the West to the East. I am not going to dwell on this forecast too much as we are still quite a ways away from Saturday and this WILL change. But I will be prepared for the worst.

I leave Friday morning for the 6 1/2 hour drive. One more run planned for tomorrow, an easy 3 miler or so. I ran 4 yesterday and it felt very easy so I hope that is a good sign though the legs feel a little tired. 4 days to rest them up.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Cutting It As Close As You Can!

Today was the Lakefront Marathon in Milwaukee. I had a few friends that were running and were going for some hefty goals. Chaz wanted to break 2:50 and Chris wanted to break 3:00. Both run on the InStep Running Team. I have run with Chaz for years and I met Chris about a year ago and have run with him a few times, most recently a 20 miler around Lake Geneva.

I was unable to be there at the start as 2 of my princesses were singing in Church at 8:00, exactly when the race started. After getting them to where they needed to be, I stepped outside and called Cherylynn, Chaz's wife to get the exact start of the race on my stop watch. I got it and then went to church for a little over 1 hour. Then I raced downtown, changed clothes, and proceeded along the course in my car to find out where the guys were.

I finally saw Chaz at about 18 miles, turned around, drove a bit, then got out, ran up the course some and cheered on Chaz for about a 1/4 mile seeing how he was doing. So far right on pace. Then I went back and found Chris, he was being paced by his friend (and mine I suppose) Dana. He was right on pace as well. The temps were almost perfect for a marathon. It was about 50F, cloudy and winds from the west (they run mostly South).

I ended up driving along the course and stopping a few times to cheer on the guys again and then to the finish area to see them finish. I stayed at the 25 1/2 mile mark and found Chaz about 2 minutes off pace now. I cheered him on and tried to get him a little faster. It seemed to help but as he turned the last turn for the final 1/3 mile finish straightaway, the winds were fierce. He ended up running 2:51:44, not a sub 2:50, but a PR for him none-the-less and a 20th place finish out of 2750 signed up. Not too shabby.

I went back the the 25 1/2 mile mark and found Chris and Dana running just about on pace but Chris looked tired. (No kidding, he just ran 25 1/2 miles). Dana was really trying his best to keep Chris on pace and I cheered them on doing my best to keep him motivated for the final 4 minutes of running. I warned Dana about the winds for the final 1/3 mile so maybe he could have Chris draft off him. As they cam down the final chute, I was yelling as loud as I could to get Chris to pick it up. They passed me at 2:59:30 and still had a bit to go. Finally, I saw Chris finish in a time of 2:59:58! He did it! And only a second to spare. Dana let Chris have the glory of his sub 3:00 finish and came across at 2:59:59. Both good for 43rd & 44th place and the last 2 under 3 hours. Was that ever exciting to watch.

I still needed to get my weekend run in, so I ran the course backwards for 3 miles and then back along the course with the runners to get in 6 miles. That with the miles I ran with the guys makes it 8 for the day. Watching the race got me hyped up for next weekend. Also it was fun encouraging all the runners in their final 3 miles knowing exactly what most of them were going through. I stopped to help a guy at just past 24 miles who was flat on the ground with 2 cramped calves. I think I helped him, not sure.

Congratulations to Chaz and Chris for awesome runs today and now it is 6 days to go!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Totally Bummed!

I was having a pretty good day today. It was busy at work, I was working hard and the day was flying along. All was well. That is until about 11:15AM when I checked the news. CHICAGO OUT IN FIRST ROUND

I am a huge Olympics fan. In 1996, I travelled down to Atlanta to the Olympics and had an absolutely awesome time. It was one of the best experiences I have ever had. I saw people from all over the world together to cheer on their country in all sorts of events. Most of the time I saw Track & Field events but I did get to see the Men's Indoor Volleyball Semifinals. I saw people partying in the streets and partying in the parks. For the most part, the city was buzzing and most everyone was happy and having a good time. I was able to see the women's marathon start and finish from Olympic Stadium as well. I think I was even on TV in Japan as they filmed a whole bunch of Japanese fans surrounding us as a Japanese woman took the silver.

I was able to see Haile Gebresalassie win the 10,000 and Micheal Johnson win the 400 and break the world record in the 200. Like I said, it was awesome.

Chicago was up as a final 4 city for the 2016 Olympics and if chosen, the Olympics would be in my backyard practically. I can drive to Chicago in under 1 and a half hours and some of the events would have even taken place in Wisconsin. But alas, my hopes were dashed in an instant as Rio de Janeiro was named the host city. Will Rio be a good choice in the end? I don't know. They have A LOT of work to do down there.

Maybe my hopes are not all gone. Maybe, just maybe, Chicago can regroup and try again for the 2020 Olympics. I know that is a very small chance, but it at least makes me feel slightly better.

Oh well, at least on Sunday I will go and watch another marathon.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Random Marathon Thoughts

Mike and I did a little 6 miler yesterday. We did a 2 mile loop around Waterford 3 times. I wonder if anyone saw us going past so many times and thought we were nuts or something. Not sure, but it was a good run at about 8:40 pace and some good conversation. Actually some good steam blowing off from Mike after a tough day at work and I get to be the brunt of the steam flow.

I finally signed up for the WhistleStop marathon. What? I hadn't signed up yet??? Yeah, I know. If I don't need to sign up for a race quickly, I usually wait until as late as I can. Why is this? Well, I think it is because I have an out if anything goes wrong. Is is not like I wanted an out to not run the marathon, I always have wanted to, it is just that if an injury or a more important obligation came up, I could easily change my race to another one. This isn't like Chicago where you need to sign up 6 months in advance because it will fill up. Besides, there are many marathons all over the upper Midwest in the fall so if I needed to delay it a week or 2 or move it up the same, I would have no problem. I have also twice signed up for a marathon about 45 minutes before it started. Now that is major league procrastination! Not many marathons will allow you to do that.

I have already signed up for the Icebreaker Marathon's Gold Medal Challenge a month or so ago and that race is not until January, but they only allow 40 people to enter that and I was not sure how quickly it would fill up. So this got me to thinking. Have you ever been signed up for 2 or marathons at one time? I know some of you have and I know some of you are currently as well. I am now signed up for WhistleStop and Icebreaker. My record is once I was signed up for 3 marathons at one time. Talk about commitment!

If you are like me, getting this close to a marathon and I star thinking "What is the weather going to be like?" The weather can affect my plans a lot not only with the temperatures (Chicago 1997 HOT!), but also wind (Surfside TX 2009 WINDY!) and rain (Twin Cities 2008, WET!). Well, it looks really good for the Lakefront Marathon in Milwaukee this weekend. Lows of 43 and high of 59 partly sunny, 10 MPH winds from the west. The course runs mainly to the south. Sounds awesome to me. The 10 day forecast for Chicago shows some nice cooler temps staying until Sunday the 11th. Not sure about rain, too far out to tell but at least not hot like the last 2 years. And for the Whistlestop, 10 days out though, says low of 36, High of 54 with rain. Well, I don't like the rain but the temps sound great! Things can change so quickly so we will all take what is given to us, but it is nice to prepare for what will be there.

Good Luck to my friends Chaz and Chris running this weekend in the Lakefront Marathon in Milwaukee. Chaz's goal is to run sub 2:50 (I know, totally insane!) and Chris wants to break 3:00 for the first time. I know he is ready to do it.