Friday, April 30, 2010
Anyway, I did sign up for the Fargo Marathon and the Go Far Challenge. What is that you may be asking. Well, they have a 5K on Friday evening and then marathon, half marathon, and 10K on Saturday morning. If you do the 5K and any of the other races, you get 3 medals total. Kind of like the Goofy Challenge at Disney World and Gold Medal Challenge at the Icebreaker Marathon but only a 5K instead of the half marathon. Mike and I will be driving up on Friday and we both will do the 5K at a very easy relaxed pace. I am predicting a time of 27 to 29 minutes easy. We both want to run the marathon in a good time so no need to crunch out a fast 5K and kill ourselves.
In other non-running stuff, this weekend is the annual Father/Daughter Dance at my girl’s school. This year I am taking 2 of them. I will be sure to include some pictures as the girls love getting all dressed up and going out with Dad in his suit and tie. It is an interesting experience. The girls are usually dancing (jumping around) with all their friends while a lot of the Dads are watching and talking. Then they have some Dad/Daughter songs they play and we get to dance with our little princesses. They love it.
This past week I even took them out shopping for new dresses. Yes, me! We ended up getting them at JC Penney’s for a real steal at 80% off. Melissa, being older and a whole 8 years old, took a more mature dress with sequins while Megan (5 y/o) took the "poofier" pink dress that is more like a princess. For the most part I let them pick it out but with my approval, of course. I had a Mom or two at the stores looking at me and one even said I looked lost. I don’t think I was that bad but maybe I was.
I have also been working hard on the WELS Kids Marathon that I am the director for over the past few weeks. We are now ready to send out the information sheets and sign up forms to the school that have decided to participate. As of right now, there are 18 schools signed up, last year we had a total of 10. The deadline for the schools is 1 week before the school year ends so I can then get them their running/reading logs to hand out to the kids before school lets out for the summer.
I know I promised you all a recap on what the WELS Kids Marathon is. I will do that in the next few posts here. It really is a cool program to get kids off the couch in the summer and out exercising. And also getting them to continue to read when school is out.
I am planning on a somewhat longer run tomorrow, maybe 13, that is if it is not to bad weather wise outside. I could always use a weekend off but I think I will be out there anyways.
Sunday, April 25, 2010
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
Mike then took the logo and made it verticle for us to use in ways that may work better this way.
Some of you may be new to reading my blog regularly and may not know about this Kids Marathon I put on. In the near future, I will post a message all about it and what we have planned for 2010.
What do you think of the logo?
Sunday, April 18, 2010
It was cold there in the morning and the wind was blowing a lot, quite windy. The race started on the upper portion of a hill in the wide open and it was in the mid to upper 40's when I started my warm up but it felt much colder. It was sunny so that helped. I got in a good 2 mile warm up down the course some at 8:40 pace. I changed my mind about 10 minutes before the start and decided to run in only the singlet as a lot of the course was protected from the wind and I knew I would heat up. This turned out to be a good decision.
I had not done any speed work or very fast running since last fall so I was a bit worried at the pace I wanted to go out at which was 6:30 for the first mile. The wind and some of the hills worried me but I knew it was such a short race that going for it was the only decision. The gun goes off and away we go.
Something that really only happens in 5K or shorted races is the smaller kids who sprint out ling gang busters only to slow and walk by about 1/4 mile into the race. No exception here as some kids who look like 12 or younger are sprinting as fast as they could and some older people too and then 1/4 to a 1/2 mile later they were toast.
The first mile is mostly downhill so I have a good split at 6:32 and I am feeling fine. The turn around is at about 1 1/4 miles before heading back up the somewhat big hill we ran down. The hill slows everyone down some as I don't lose any ground or gain any ground on anyone. I do begin to hear a runner directly behind me. He is using me as a wind block. Very smart on his part as I am taller than most out there but annoying the same as it continued the rest of the race. Mile 2 was 6:51, the hill took its toll.
At about 2.4 miles, we turn into the sports complex again and I knew what was coming. Lots of wind right in the face. I tried to do a few small sures to get rid of the guy tailing me but no luck. I am passing people now so I did conserve enough energy for that. The race ends with a full lap on the track and the running from the end zone of the football field to the 50 yard line. A pretty cool finish but you seen the finish line for 1/2 mile. I surge again on the first part of the track when the wind is at my back but the guy is still there. I tell myself that there is no way I am going to let him beat me, he could be in my age group. With 150 meters to go, there are about 4 guys in front o me that I have to weave in and out of to pass. then we turn around the high jump area and onto the football field for the final 60 yard. Here comes the guy trying to pass me right at the end. Not going to happen as I flip it into one more gear and sprint to the finish line passing one more person but not letting this guy pass me.
My final time was 20:33 good for 31st place over all. I was 11 seconds faster than last year when there was not any wind and I didn't run 20 miles the weekend before so I was quite happy with that. Last year I placed 19th so there were quite a few faster runners this year. The next thing I did not like was that I placed 4th in my age group, 1 place and 4 seconds out of the top 3. Last year I took 1st in my age group. Oh well, that is hey way it goes. I needed to run 14 seconds faster to get 2nd.
I did a 2 1/2 mile cool down and then the girls showed up for the Kids race. This is a nice little feature they have where kids 12 and under run 1 lap on the track and all get a ribbon after finishing. The announcer even treats it like a real race giving play by play. Grey sweatshirt guy won!
They had bananas, apples, Gatorade, hot chocolate and many other things for the runners so the perks were quite nice. I recommend this 5K to anyone in the area.
Here is one this I found interesting. I looked at the results today and saw who the guy that was tailing me the last 1 1/2 miles and ended up one place and second behind me is the same guy who last year was one place behind me with the same time. I think he will be gunning for me next year!
Next up is the Jailbreak Marathon next weekend . . . if the weather is good. I am not going to use weather as an excuse but I am only using the race as another long training run. No need to drive 2 1/2 miles if the weather is miserable.
Monday, April 12, 2010
This is my biggest fear about running these days. I am pretty good about judging what drivers will do and knowing if the see me or not, but I am not certain all the time. These types of drivers on their phones and texting scare me the most.
So I remind all my fellow runners out there to be safe and always be aware of the traffic around you. You never know when one of these idiots is coming your way. We didn't.
Sunday, April 11, 2010
I woke up at about 5:45 and was down to the registration area held at South Shore Pavilion by 7:00 AM. I saw a few friends and acquaintances I know from previous races and spoke with them briefly but I needed to get signed up and on the bike trail for my miles before the race.
The South Shore Half Marathon is put on by the Badgerland Strides who are a Milwaukee based running club. I have never ran this one before but have heard a lot about it. There are no big frills with this race. It is only $13 to sign up on race day and I got a pair of knit gloves and a race number. The race is not chip timed nor is it advertised to the community to come out and cheer on the runners. It is run entirely on a bike trail so it gets very crowded at times but it brings out LOTS of local runners for a really nice (and fast) race.
I finally got going on my before race run at 7:22 AM. The plan was to run 6 1/2 to 7 miles before the half marathon so I could get in an even 20 for the day. I wanted to run these miles slower and try to run the race portion faster, like a tempo run or fast long run. I ended up running this portion faster than I wanted to at 8:54 pace but got back in time for a quick restroom stop and then to the start.
There were 836 runners in this race which made it VERY crowded at the start area. I was able to find Paul for a few minute talk before the race started. We were even talking when the race started without us even knowing. No gun, horn, bell, etc. They just started running. This race is run on a bike path so it was very, very crowded at the start, and during most of the race. The first mile was the worst as everyone thinned out and got to their paces. I started easy and ran the first 3 miles at about 8:45 pace. It was sunny and beautiful out but there was wind in the face to start.
The race is an out and back with the final 0.1 just past the start line. There were some hills along the way but the course is absolutely beautiful as you run just along Lake Michigan and through many different parks and up the bluff along the lake before turning around and doing it all again in reverse order giving an awesome view of the Milwaukee skyline (what skyline it has) along the lake over the last mile.
By about mile 5 1/4, the leaders are coming back on the trail toward us slower runners. Now the race gets tricky as we all negotiate running on a bike trail with fast runners going the other way. I saw no problems but I suspect there were a few. As I get about a 1/4 mile from the turn around, it is VERY crowded both ways so passing and getting passed was not happening unless you wanted to run in the grass or dirt/mud but it was very wet along the course. There were even 2 spots (each way) that a large puddle covered the course. I get to the turn around and my average pace is 8:34, right where I wanted it to be.
Now I decide to pick it up and see what I can do with the wind at my back some and I begin to pass runners. Puddles? Forget them, I just run right through them as I didn't want any chance of mud on my shoes. I find that if I take quick steps on my toes, the shoes didn't get wet for the 4 or 5 steps I needed to get through. Mile 9 dips under 8:00 and I am feeling really good and then a guy in a bright green shirt passes me. He is running the same pace as I am and he is running maybe 25 meters ahead of me as we pass lots of runners. He becomes my goal, pass him by the end. I am keeping cautious to avoid any issues with injury or pulled muscles as this is only a long run. Mile 11 is a 7:32 with the wind at our backs and a nice downhill portion but mile 12 is 8:03 as we turn into the wind for a 1/4 mile on an uphill stretch. Bright green shirt is still right in front of me but I haven't poured on the fast running yet so I am confident I will get him.
Mile 12 starts with a nice downhill to the beach area right on the lake. With 1/2 mile to go, I pass Mr. Green Shirt and leave him behind. I run a 7:24 for the last mile but pull up right at the end to avoid passing 3 ladies at the line. I did not want to be seen as a jerk passing them just to pass them. My goal to push the end and beat Mr. Green Shirt was done so why pass the ladies? To show off? Come on, not cool. If this were a race and I was going for a PR, then all bets off, but I pulled off my goal.
My final time was 1:47:34, about 4 minutes faster than I anticipated earlier in the week. Average pace was 8:13 and I end up with one great long run workout. There is no medal for this half marathon, it was only $13 after all ($10 if you sign up in advance) so it was not expected. But it was well worth it and it was a very nice race. I highly recommend this one. I end up in 242 place overall (195 male). And as you can see by my time and place, it is a fairly fast half marathon as well. The winning time was 1:12:47 and considering he had to run past 835 runners going the opposite direction on a bike path, I would say that is smokin' fast.
A picture of the finish area and the skyline of Milwaukee along Lake Michigan.
Thursday, April 8, 2010
Yesterday, Mike and I planned to run after work but it was raining almost all day. By 4:30, it had started to slow down considerably and by the time we got out the door, it was just a light mist. Jeff joined us again for an easy 4 1/2 miles on the ole hills loop. We ran well and had good conversation along the way. Once we finished, we went inside and not 2 minutes later, it began to pour outside. We would have been soaked!
Today, Jeff joined Mike and I again for 5 1/2 miles. Again easy paced and no rain.
I made a minor decision today. If I run the Jailbreak Marathon in 2 weeks, I am going to make it another training run marathon. Here is why. This weekend, I am running a 20 miler on Saturday that will include a half marathon race over the last 13.1 miles. I am planning on running that one faster that I would normally run a long run. I hope to run it at an average pace of 8:30ish.
Then next weekend I am running the Gary's Gallop 5K near home. This race takes place at the same place where I have my Kid's Marathon race at and it run bu some people I know. Good news on this, since I run on the InStep Racing Team, I was able to get a comp entry into the race. This is the first comp entry I have been able to get so this is all good. It is a 5K so ideally I would love to break 20 minutes but it has a few hills in it and one that is not small. The last 2 times I ran this race, I ran about 20:40. I can hope though.
That would mean the next weekend is the Jailbreak Marathon with 2 races the preceding weekends. Doesn't sound like the best way to prepare to run a fast marathon so training run it will be. It is all good though, I do get to count it as one more marathon completed.
I am still debating going with Mike to Fargo in May. That one I would like to run hard and get a fast time. I will continue to debate this one the next few weeks though.
Tuesday, April 6, 2010
I did wonder if I would have to run in the rain after work though. During work, it rained quite a bit too. The ditches were like small rivers flowing. But by then end of the day, the rain had stopped and I got out there for 5 1/2 miles. I wanted to run faster than usual so I took off briskly. My garmin had less than 1 hour of battery life and I knew I wouldn't get far before it turned off automatically, so I used the regular Ironman watch I have. If I was to run faster, I wanted to know how fast. The problem with this way, is I don't know my pace or mile splits my garmin gives me. All I knew was that the course was 5 1/2 miles.
The average pace at the end of the run turned out to be 8:00 on the head. It was a good run as well. I wore a long sleeve shirt but should have worn a short sleeve. Sometimes I get that wrong.
I am planning on a long run this weekend but may do it a bit differently. I have done this before and it makes a long run sort of exciting, if there is such a thing. My plan is to run 20 miles on Saturday morning. I am going to run 7 miles at an easy pace to start off with but then I am going to time it right so I get the the start line of a local half marathon being run. The Badgerland Striders (The Milwaukee areas running club) is putting on a half marathon along the lake on a bike path. It is an out and back course but the price to join is only $13 on race day. You don't get a medal for finishing (no problems there) and no shirt, but you get to run with a bunch of nice runners and get some food afterwards. At least that is what the race advertises. I have run quite a few of their races and they put on a well organized race which are always fun. I am looking forward to it.
So the plan is to arrive near 7:00 and sign up and get my number. I will then leave at about 7:15 for a 7 mile 'warm up' at the easy pace (9:15 to 9:30 pace). That should get me back within 10 minutes o the 8:30 start time. Once the race starts, I will begin easy and then see what I have in the tanks. If I could average 8:30 pace for the race, that would be a good run for me. I don't consider it a real race (for me), if so, I would go out much faster and not do 7 miles before hand. But it will let me work on running with tired legs and let me run with all sorts of local runners. The food at the finish area is a bonus as well. You can't beat it for $13.
Saturday, April 3, 2010
Today I ran with Paul. It was about 55F out this morning at 7AM when we started. Paul was just in Singapore on business the past week and missed the Trailbreaker Marathon so we decided to get a medium length run in. We ran on the trail that goes through my town because it is soft crushed limestone and is 13 miles from one end to the other and back.
We started slow and I felt pretty tired. Paul was also tired trying to get back to our time instead of Singapore time. We ran the first half, into the wind, in an average pace of 9:16 and it felt sluggish. It was a bit misty out and the threat of showers were in the air and in the forecast. We turned around after running an extra 0.05 of a mile and began back. Suddenly we both felt a lot better and picked it up. We ran the rest of the way back a little over 8:30 pace and ran to 13.1 miles instead of stopping at 13. If you don't know why, I am not telling you. We finished in a time of 1:57 so we obviously did well on the way back.
Turns out on the way home in the car, it started raining. We missed the rain by about 10 minutes so it was timed good.
I hope you all have a wonderful Easter. I will be helping park cars at Church tomorrow so I hope there is not rain. Now it is time for me to make an Easter Egg hunt for the girls. We will go outside because the rain is gone and the sun is out. It is windy so lets hope the eggs don't get blown away.