Sunday, October 31, 2010

Race Report - Haunted Hustle Marathon

With only 13 days rest, I ran yet another marathon. #26. I ran the Haunted Hustle Marathon in Middleton, WI on Saturday morning. This was the inaugural race and all in all, I think they did a pretty good job for a fist time. Where there some problems, you bet, but not enough for me to dislike the race.

I don't really want to start with one of the problems right away but the first issue I had with the race was that they required you to pick up your packet the day before the race. I live a little over 1 1/2 hours away and would have preferred to pick up the packer in the morning before the race and save the $85 I spent for a bed to sleep in for the night.

I got to Middleton at about 4:30 in the afternoon and decided to drive as much of the course as I could to get a feel for what I was into. I am very glad I did this because I then knew that the first (and last) 3 miles had some hills and that miles 9 1/2 to about 14 1/2 were very hilly with some longer ones and some steeper ones too. I was able to adjust my plan knowing this.

I then made it to the Expo which was quite small and able to get to the spaghetti dinner. Nothing special about the Expo except for the Halloween decorations and the dinner was average. I bought a raffle ticket to try to win some prizes and I actually had about a 50 -50 chance of winning, but no, as always, I didn't.

I woke up early, ate my oatmeal, and headed to the start area about 3/4 of a mile from the hotel. It was starting out to be good weather to run a marathon. It was in the lower 40's, cloudy but a little higher wind that I would have preferred, but not too bad. One thing that was fun before the race was to see how many people were dressed up in costumes. I don't think I would want to run a race in a costume, but it was fun seeing them. Most were only running the half marathon or 10K, but some were running the full. I saw Supergirl, The Flash (1 in a good costume and 1 in a crappy costume), many fairies and a family of Waldos. (Is a female Waldo called a Walda? Just wondering).

The race started at 7:45 and off we went, full and half marathoners together. The first 3 miles were quite crowded as there we 950 half marathoners and 350 full marathoners. This first 3 miles were though a nice middle class neighborhood up and down hills. At mile 2, we passed the second aid station and they had jack-o-lanterns decorating the course. This sounds good, but the jack-o-lanterns were right in the middle of the course. Who thought this was a good idea? At miles 24, when we passed it again and it wasn't crowded at all, no problem, but with so many runners, I really wonder if anyone tripped over them.

After mile 3, we went through "downtown" Middleton before entering a bike path near 4 1/2 miles. I decided before the race to go out slower and not try to beat the 3:35 I ran 2 weeks ago as the course seemed too hilly for this. So by this time, the Garmin said I was right at 8:55 pace, right where I wanted to be. I am so glad I had a Garmin for the race because the biggest problem of the race was that many of the mile markers were off and some by a lot. I first noticed this at the 5 mile marker when the Garmin only said 4.65 miles? this was about where the half marathoners turned around so we had a lot more room. I don't know if the half marathon mile markers were off, but the Garmin sure helped me. Mile marker 8 was right on and I thought we were back on, but 9 was off a tenth of a mile, 10 was right on, 11 was 0.3 off and 12 later as well. The half marathon point was right on and after that, I just ignored the mile markers and used the garmin for pace.

The best part of the course was from 5 1/2 to 9 1/2 where we ran though the Pheasant Branch Conservancy. We ran on a crushed limestone path over little hills and winding through trees and open fields. I would love to run through this park if I lived near by.

Throughout the race, there were very energetic and awesome volunteers. The aid stations were well stocked with powerade and water and close to half of them offered powerbar gel. I don't take that gel and bring my own Gu, but it is nice for them to offer it. All the aid stations were themed and they sure dressed to their theme. Some were ghouls, there was a Pac-Mac aid station, nurses, etc. This race had the most aid stations in any marathon I have run. Plus, as a whole, the most energetic. Big porps to the race for this.

Over the hills of 10 through 13, I took it easy and just maintained an easy pace. I passed the half marathon mark in 1:57:06 (152 place), took some salt and thought that I felt good enough to break 4 hours since the miles 14 to 23 were mostly flat. After getting back on the bike path again, I started noticing the same runners I was with and striking up some conversations. Sandy was running her first marathon and later, Jodi, also running her first marathon trying to break 4 hours. Jodi eventually was using me to help pace her until she took off on me at mile 21. (She ended up running a 3:54, way to go Jodi!)

Miles 16 though 21 were run though an industrial park/park area. It was a nice looking area with a bike path following fields and ponds. Mostly flat and open. The wind was a small issue here but not too bad. There was about a 1 mile out and back here where we could see who was near us and then onto some roads for a bit before closing the loop back up at mile 20 1/2.

Mile 20 caused me some issues. I was feeling quite strong until this point when suddenly my legs felt like they lost all energy. I knew I was still ahead of 4 hour pace but now I was concerned. Miles 21 ans 22 were both 10:06 and I still had the last 3 miles of hills to cover. At mile 21, I took off my long sleeve Grand Rapids Marathon shirt and tossed it near the aid station and ran with only the singlet I had on as well. This felt good and helped cool me off. I tried to hold on and then as quickly as it came on, the energy came back. Mile 24 was back up a steep hill before a longer downhill and I was back down to 8:51. I was running alone now with a few people either passing me or me passing them. I passed the same jack-o-lanterns again, this time no tripping hazard. At 24 1/2, I was passed by a bumblebee. Yes, a lady in a bumblebee costume passed me but I was able to keep here just ahead of me and in sight.

Over the last 2 miles of hills, I was feeling strong and by mile 25, I knew I would be under 4 unless disaster would strike. Not. This. Time. I stopped for my last water break and kept running. I was able to pass the bumblebee with about 100 yards to go and I finished with a time of 3:56:31, the first time I have ever run 2 consecutive sub 4 hour marathons. I felt better than usual immediately after the race. I wasn't dizzy or wobbly and was able to walk quite easily.

After the race, I am glad to be done, I need a break.

Since I parked only 100 yards from the start/finish line, I went to my car and got some warmer clothes on headed back for some food. They had a nice selection of treats and some beer as well. I tried some Capital Brewery Oktoberfest and then had many cups of hot chocolate before I was able to get get a free massage from Abigale from Elements Therapeutic Massage. She worked on my legs and did that ever help! She was awesome and my legs hardly hurt the rest of the day or even the next morning. I only wish she were local to my area, I may then get another one to help the legs. I talked with some other runners and even talked up the Icebreaker Marathon and Half Marathon and may have convinced a pair of ladies to join the half. We'll see.

As I left, I remembered to go back to the mile 21 aid station to find my new Grand Rapids Marathon Shirt. I got there and the station was completed packed up and bags by the side of the road to be picked up and no shirt to be found where I tossed it. Luckily I found it in a bag full of other items runners had tossed. Good thing, I really like that shirt.

After a quick shower back at the hotel, I was off to home. I was very happy to be able to keep the energy and break 4 hours 2 weeks after GR. The course was much tougher than GR too so that made it sweeter as well. The problems with this race (packet pickup/mile markers) could/should be corrected by next year. I know they will hear the mile marker issue from lots of runners as I heard it a lot at the post race area. This should be very easily corrected. I hope the change the packet pickup to allow day of. I understand they may tourist commitments to try to help fill hotels rooms, restaurants, or possibly volunteer issues, but many much larger marathons (Grand Rapids to name one) allow race day packet pick up and this may attract more runners. The course was a little tougher than average (Full Marathon only), but that is OK. A challenging course can be fun as well. Volunteers were top notch! Post race food was average and the medal was small but unique. I would definitely consider doing this one again.

The race medal was small, but unique, I like it.

Now 3 weeks of recovery before the Harpeth Hills Flying Monkey Marathon in Nashville, TN. The sub 4 streak will definitely come to an end here but the fun will not!

A "pumpkin tree" in Middleton.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Grand Rapids Marathon Pictures

Well, it is now only 3 days until my next marathon, The Haunted Hustle in Middleton, WI. Am I recovered and ready? Probably not, bu that is not going to stop me. I have one more run planned tonight after work, a short 3 miler with about a 1/4 mile pick up at the end. My left quad is still tight and is of some concern, but not nearly enough to stop my plans.

The weather is looking good so far. The forecast is calling for lows of 35F the night before and highs of 56 in the afternoon. The race starts at 7:30AM so it should be cool most of the time. Winds should be low at about 6mph, a far cry from what we are getting yesterday and today. It is windy right now!!!

Greg has pulled out of the half marathon which is a bummer but he has his reasons. So now Chaz is going to take his place. Chaz is coming off injuries to his Achilles (torn) and can run up to 13 miles now. He will run slow, well, slow for him that is. He thinks he will go about 1:40. Yeah! That is REALLY slow there Chaz. He will meet me up there before the race so I can give him his stuff.

I thought I would share a few running pictures from the Grand Rapids Marathon.

Here I am apparently rounding a turn. What a look on my face, so determined!

Still feeling a little strong crossing the finish line. Who am I kidding, I was spent!

Mike with that same determined face I had. I see a theme here.

Mike finishes strong but his hamstring is thinking other, nasty things.

Paul finishes in a crowd only 2minutes behind me. That lady on the left is a walker who did the half marathon.

Glad to be finished? You Bet!!!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Recovery or Tapering?

What is the recommended workouts for the week after a marathon? What is the recommended workouts for the week that starts 2 weeks before a marathon? What if that is the same week?

My muscles now do not feel the marathon from last weekend anymore. They did on the 2 easy 5 mile runs I did this week but that was on Wednesday and Friday. Actually, my run on Friday didn't feel bad but I still felt the race just a bit. So usually the weekend before a marathon, I will put in about 8 miles. This weekend I put in a big goose egg. Zip. Zero. Nil. Nothing. I ran really good in Grand Rapids but I still feel like I have another good marathon in these legs. They were tight before Grand Rapids so I would really like it if they were loose and ready to go. I have a little less than 6 days though. The next marathon is on Saturday morning.

I do have some thoughts on a strategy but I am not finalizing it until Saturday morning and seeing what the legs feel like. Greg will be coming with me and he is running the half marathon. We will get there in the later afternoon on Friday (no day of packet pickup, stupid if you ask me), and we will drive the course where we can to get a feel for the hills. If they are small and the weather cooperates (cool, little wind, no rain), then I may try to go for a 3:45 time again. If not, I will take it out slower and try to pick it up in the second half. We will see.

The race is called the Haunted Hustle Marathon and is in Middleton, WI, just west of Madison. What ticks me off already about this marathon is the packet pick up rule. It is only about an hour and a half drive from where I live to Middleton and I really would have preferred to drive up the morning instead of on Friday and getting a hotel for the night. At least Greg will be along so it won't be too boring.

So I recovered and tapered last week only getting in 10 miles. Now I will do little this week in hopes the legs will be ready for 26.2 miles Saturday. At least after this one, I get 3 weeks to recover before the next marathon, The Monkey!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Race Report - Grand Rapids Marathon

I had a really good marathon this weekend in Grand Rapids, Michigan with almost perfect marathon weather. This was my 25th marathon and I was able to run my 3rd fastest time with a time of 3:45:03. This was my second Grand Rapids Marathon, the last one being in 2007, and I have to say it was just as much fun as the first time.

Paul, Mike, and I left Milwaukee on Saturday just before Noon and headed down around Chicago and back up the other side of Lake Michigan to Grand Rapids. While it is only 117 miles from Milwaukee to Grand Rapids across the lake, it is 262 miles by roads. ugh! We arrived at the Expo just after 5:00 eastern time and went through the quite small expo very quickly. It is a smaller race so I didn't expect much for an Expo. I did find Don Kern, the race director, and gave him a 6 pack of a local micro brew as he likes to drink micro brews and lots of runner give this to him. After a brief chat, Paul, Mike and I headed to the hotel that was maybe 1/4 mile from the Expo/Start/Finish area. Good pick on the hotel, Paul!

Here is a view of the Start/Finish area from our hotel room.

We relaxed a bit before heading to a local restaurant for a little carbo loading with a big bowl of Fettuccine Alfredo and some good bread sticks. We headed back to the hotel and were able to watch the Wisconsin Badgers beat #1 Ohio State in TV before crashing for the night.
I woke up early on race day to let my body do what it needs to do before long runs and races and we ended up heading to the start line about 20 minutes before the start. Paul had to go back and get his watch so I didn't see him again until during the race. Start conditions were great. Mid 40's, clear skies, little wind.

Mike and I started together for about 10 feet before he was gone. He had a bad hamstring but thought he could maybe pull out a fast race. He did. My goal was to join the 3:44 pace group and hang on. The first 3 miles I felt quite sluggish for some reason, the pace group seemed like they were going really fast. I kept them in eye shot and then started feeling better by mile 4. The garmin said I was right on pace so I wasn't too concerned they were ahead of me. I kept a lot to myself and just tried to relax.

My garmin was off some (actually I was borrowing Mike's) and by the half, it said 13.25 miles so I was actually a little off pace and I went though the half marker in 1:53. We headed over the Grand River and went down a very large bike path for 2 out and backs. It warmed enough for me to take off my long sleeve shirt and just wear the singlet. The cool air felt like a relief for awhile. The path was very wide and it was fun (and depressing) to see the leaders pass going the other way many miles ahead. On the other hand, it was fun to see others behind me after I passes the turn around. Mike flew by me about 2 miles ahead of me still looking strong. I also saw Paul finally and he was about 4 minutes ahead of me.

At mile 14 or so, I took some salt and decided to make a slow push to catch the 3:44 pace group. My goal was to catch them by mile 20 as they were maybe 1:30 ahead of me. My legs were sore a bit already but I didn't come here to feel good the whole race. By mile 18, I was at the back of the pace group. By mile 20, I decided to go ahead of the group a little and see what I had. Earlier in the race I saw a sign that said "Trust your Training". It stuck with me so I did trust it. This part of the course was completely flat so fast running was easy. Just before the 2nd turn around, I saw Paul, he was only 1:50 ahead of me.

I had something weird happen at the turn around. I got just past it and wanted to get up to speed right away and was passing some lady who must not have liked that. She had plenty of room but yet elbowed me intentionally. Not sure why, I just ignored it and kept pushing. I knew I was getting closer to Paul so I kept looking for him ahead. Behind me, I kept hearing the pace group leaders encouraging the other runners as I could not drop them. At mile 23, I heard we were right on pace for a 3:44. I saw Paul and caught him at about mile 23 1/2 at a water stop. We stopped for a short walk break and he told me his hamstring had enough and he was going as fast as it would allow him without breaking. I said good luck and tried to take off and catch the pace group who kept going at the water stop. My legs now were having trouble and I just couldn't catch the group. I though I would get them in a final push when I saw the finish line in the distance but no such luck.

I did get to do one thing special in the final blocks. I found Waldo! Waldo was running the marathon and was in the pace group so I saw him frequently during the race. He passed me with about 2 blocks to go and I couldn't get him. Oh well! So I crossed the line in 3:34:03, gave Don Kern, Race Director, a bro-hug, and then tried to get my balance. Took me a bit but then I saw Paul finish 2 minutes behind me and found Mike who ran a 3:22.

The post race area was well stocked with water, Gatorade, string cheese, honey milk, Culver's Custard as well as lots of fruit. Paul and Mike found the beer but were denied as the keg ran out as they were in line. We decided to walk to the hotel and shower up before returning for beer and chili. Ends up we didn't go back and decided to head home instead. We did stop in Benton Harbor on the way home for a big lunch. Chicago traffic sucked, as usual, but home at least.

All in all, I really like this race. It is one of my favorite marathons out there and maybe my #1. The course is mostly flat and very fast. Lots of the course was shade covered so the sunny day was not a problem until the last 2 1/2 miles. The bike path portion of the course as well as the run through millenium park was beautiful. The expo isn't big but has what you need. The parts run though the city have lots of crowd support and the parts in the parks had good and loud cheering sections. The pace groups ran really well and were very supportive. The race director knows what he is doing and has all the right people helping out. While there is not control on the weather, I have run twice here in almost perfect conditions so climatically it is good! The medal is a really heavy and thick with special lanyard. Post race food was good and plentiful, except for the keg running out when we wanted a brew. I totally recommend this race and will most likely do it again someday. It doesn't hurt that my #2 and #3 all time fastest times were here.

I took a look at my garmin splits. It said I ran 26.5 miles and I ran the tangents as much as possible. But overall, I ran an 8:35 pace and actually negative split the race by about a minute. I was very consistent with only 2 miles at 9:00 and 9:02 with all others in the 8's. I guess I did trust my training and it turned out it was good. I think I could have run a little faster if the legs were not so sluggish at the start, but if I did start out faster, I may have crashed at the end.

My quads are sore today so I am resting them a few days. I do only have 12 days until the next marathon, I know, I am crazy, so I will work on my goals for that one next week. It is a tougher course so I may go out a little slower.

Thanks for all the well wishes on the race!

Grand Rapids Marathon Finish

I do not have time right now for a full race report on the Grand Rapids Marathon but I thought I would give a quick update on my finishing time. I ended running a 3:45:03, my 3rd fastest marathon to date. I am very happy with the time but knowing how I felt most of the race, I think I could go faster.

I will work on a race report maybe tonight, right now I am working on the sore quads and knee.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Final Tune-Up

Yesterday, I went out for my last run before the marathon and the goal was a super easy 3 miles along the river in Waukesha. I took it very easy and it felt very easy. I never felt like I was pushing it and I just enjoyed the scenery. The good news (or bad news depending on how you look at it) was that I went a little fast for what I wanted to accomplish. I ended up running 8:31 pace. I don't think I pushed it too hard since it felt very easy and I didn't push the pace at all. I am going to take it as that I am fully tapered and ready to run 8:30 pace for the full marathon.

The forecast is looking really good. Sunny but 43 at the start and 53 when I plan on finishing. Winds in the single digits. Good friends to run with as well. I will report back on Sunday evening or Monday morning.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Optimistic Confindence

I did my last fast workout before the Grand Rapids Marathon today. I went out 1 1/2 miles easy and the tempo ran it back. My pace back was about 7:10 so not an all out tempo, but steady. I like to do these short tempos before a race because usually after I run a tempo, my next few runs feel quite easy yet I am running faster. That is how I want to feel Sunday morning, easy and faster.

I will do one more run before Sunday, another 3 mile easy run most likely on Thursday, and then the race. I have an optimistic confidence going on in my head and I hope it doesn't burn me. I have goals for the race that sound very reasonable, something I have done before. But I also feel nervous as I have tried this before and crashed and burned badly. I feel I trained very well this summer and I had a good half marathon to build the confidence more. Now I just need to do the rest right before the race and then just execute.

The goal for Sunday will be to run with the 3:44 pace group and see what happens after 20. I did this last time I ran Grand Rapids 3 years ago and finished in 3:43:21. It was a good pace group and I even tried to go for it after 21 but the group reeled me in and I hung on until the last mile where I faded just a touch but still got the desired time (the pace group was 1 minute ahead of pace).

So what is with the 3:44 pace group and not 3:45? Well, Grand Rapids has a little fun with their pace groups. They created pace groups that run the pace of a celebrity that actually ran that time. So I will be in the "George W's Running Mates" group named after President George W. Bush who did run a 3:44 marathon once. Other pace groups they have are:
The Sub-3 Lancers - 2:59:36
Pi Pacers - 3:14:15926 (get it?)
The Billy Baldwin Racer - 3:29:24
Will Ferrell's Sub 4 - 3:56:12 (is it just me surprised that Will Ferrell actually ran a Sub 4?)
P.Diddy Pacers - 4:14:54
Team Oprah - 4:29:20 (must be nice to have so many trainers helping)
The Penguin Brigade - 4:44:44
Al Gore's: An Inconvenient Pace - 4:58:25

Notice all the teams are pretty close to a time milestone so it is fun to see them do this.

Mike has decided to join Paul & I in the road trip to Grand Rapids. He will run but as he says, only for fun and to "get the state". I already have Michigan but Paul & Mike do not. I am at an even 10 states but they are a few ahead of me. I think this will be 17 for Mike and 15 for Paul. Mike and I will each add another state in November when we run the hills of Tennessee, Monkey Style.

It is a big marathon weekend all over. I counted 27 marathon this coming weekend. If you are running one of those, good luck! If you are running Grand Rapids, I hope to see you and extra good luck!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

A 5K and a Homecoming Dance

It is a "warmish" day here in the upper Midwest. At least that is what the article said about the Chicago Marathon that was run today. I agree, it is warmish, in fact, it is Indian Summer here. What is Indian Summer? It is beautiful warm temperatures after the first frost of the fall. We had a few days of frost early last week so I guess this qualifies. Anyways, just beautiful outside, just not for marathon racing. Good thing I have 1 more week until Grand Rapids.

My taper is going well. I got in around 22 miles last week and put in 8 yesterday. But I did it in 3 short runs as I took my oldest girl to a 5K race. She just finished her first season of Cross Country at her school (yes, they allow 3rd graders to run CC there) and wanted to run a 5K to see how she could do. Based on her races, usually 1 1/2 miles long, I though she may be able to break 30 minutes, that is if she ran smart. In July, she did a 5K and ran 37 minutes so this would be a large task to complete.

There were not too many runners at this race as there was a very large race in Milwaukee that attracts most of the local runners so that left about 30 runners and maybe 100 walkers for this race. Very small! But good for an 8 year old. I had borrowed my friend Mike's Garmin since my is toast so I could track our pace knowing we needed to run about a 9:40 pace to break 30 minutes. We got on 9:20 pace right away and kept it simple. The race was 3 loops around the school that was putting on the race. Mile 1 was 9:22 and she was feeling OK. We took a 30 second walk break at about 1 1/2 miles and then kept going. She ended up running the second half of the race faster than the first half. The race ended up being 3.23 miles long and she ran a time of 29:22 which is the pace of 28:13 for a 5K. She did awesome! She took 15th overall and also won her age group getting a medal. She was very happy with the run and said afterwards she had a lot of fun. Funny thing is that I won my age group as well getting a medal and I ran with her the entire time for 16th place. OK, OK, I was the only one in my age group, but I won it anyways.

I live about 1/4 mile from the local High School in my city and yesterday was the homecoming dance. I took the girls to the school to a small public viewing area so they could see some the the girls as they like looking at all the "pretty dresses" as they call it. Maybe I am an old fart or perhaps it is just that I am the parent of 3 little girls, but if my girls ever wore some of the dresses we saw, they would be grounded for a week. What parent lets their kids out in some of this stuff??? We also saw 2 girls being escorted into the office while some police came in to give them Breathalyzers. Looks like they failed. Now, if my girls did that, I don't know how long they would be grounded for. Guess I am now officially a fuddy duddy.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Local Tragedy

I had a pretty good tempo run today. I ran a total of 5 miles but busted out the last 2 miles. My times for the last 2 miles were 7:18 & 6:54. I didn't really want to go much faster as I didn't want to chance pulling my right hamstring or left quad, both of which were tight. It really felt good out there during those miles. I don't know how fast the first 3 miles were because I didn't start the watch but they felt good.

A little sad news here in the Milwaukee area. A local prominent man who owns a local bike store and President of some Wisconsin Bike association was out on a ride Friday morning along with a local pro triathlete. They were both hit by a car who was blinded by the early morning sun. He died today from injuries while the lady hit was released from the hospital Friday with less injuries.

Just a reminder to all you bikers and runners out there. While we have the 'legal right' to be out there and running in specific areas of the road, there will always be drivers out there that either do not care or just won't see you. This was a tragic accident and the bikers were blinded by the low sun, but us runners and bikers have a personal responsibility to anticipate possible problems that may occur. Were the bikers in the right area? Absolutely. Was the drive in the wrong? Definitely. But who has lost their life?

Be careful out there!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Farm Aid, American Idol, Lakefront Marathon

We don't get too many celebrities in the Milwaukee area but this weekend there were many opportunities to see them around town. I didn't see any, but then again, I wasn't looking.

First of all, Farm Aid was held at Miller Park where the Milwaukee Brewers play. Playing there were Jason Mraz, Norah Jones, Kenny Chesney, Dave Mathews, John Mellencamp, Neil Young, and Willie Nelson. Second, there were comeback auditions for American Idol. I didn't even know they had comeback auditions for that. So Ryan Seacrest, Randy Jackson, J-Lo, and Steven Tyler were also in town. That is a lo for Milwaukee one 1 day. Turns out Steven Tyler even went over the Farm Aid and made a surprise appearance there.

I did happen to go downtown on Saturday afternoon (I live about 25 miles out) because I went to the Milwaukee Lakefront Marathon Expo. There wasn't much there but I did get to meet Jenny Crain and support the Jenny Crain Make it Happen Foundation. In case you don't know who Jenny Crain is a local runner who had qualified for 4 different US Olympic Marathon Trials and before the 2008 trial, she was hit by a car on a training run and had massive injuries. I wrote about her almost a year ago, if you want to read it, see here. While her speech has been improving a lot, she was wonderful to speak with and she was very interested in talking to my little girls even asking then their names, repeating them, and asking them about themselves. My girls really didn't understand why she was they way she was, but they were polite and supportive of her none-the-less. I was proud of them. I was proud of Jenny Crain as well.

Turns out I did know of few runners in the Lakefront Marathon including a few guys that run on the same team I run with. Paul's cousin's husband, a former college teammate of mine as well as my coach from college. He is in the 55-59 year age group and still ran 3:04, not to shabby.

I ended up getting ion 13 miles on Sunday as I begin the taper. I ran it at marathon pace and it felt relatively easy so that is a good sign.

Congratulations to all the Lakefront Marathon finishers!