Sunday, January 30, 2011
It is amazing the therapy that running offers. I have gotten some of my best ideas and problems worked out while running. I even "wrote" the speech for my best friends wedding toast on a run. Unfortunately, I didn't solve anything today. I really wish I had.
Saturday, January 29, 2011
This morning there was ice that I DID run on. I woke up and drove to East Troy where Mike lives to go on a 10 mile run with him. We didn't get the few inches of snow that they predicted, instead we got freezing rain. The main roads were all salted and fine but when I got into Mike's neighborhood, it was slippery and I almost slid right through a stop sign. Once out of the car, it was slightly difficult to get up to Mike's door. Once ready to go, we actually were not sure if we were going to continue. No need to slip and fall just to get a run in.
We got out of the neighborhood onto more used roads and the side area was still icy but the road was OK so we ended up running in the road, that is until cars came and we moved over to avoid getting killed. By a mile, we had already thought of cutting the run to only 4 miles but when that turn off came, Mike just went straight. Talk about confusing, I guess we were going longer.
We were not running fast as we didn't feel fast and the roads sort of prevented us from doing so. We go to where we needed to turn to run only 10 miles and again, Mike went straight. Guess we are doing more! We ended up only doing a "looper" as we call it and did 11.7 miles.
By mile 4, I had to stop for a bit which ended up helping a lot. First 4 miles were at 9:08 pace and the final 7.7 miles were at 8:35 pace and that was with the ice every once in awhile. I think we put in the effort of closer to the low 8's but that is all I could muster with feet slipping every once in awhile.
In the end, I think it went well, at least the last 7 miles. My legs felt a little tired from Icebreaker but for the most part, good. I still have nothing on the agenda but don't really think there will be for awhile. Just training and having fun. But.........Ice is NOT fun.
Thursday, January 27, 2011
I think it is very similar to training. If you run only one day, the next day may be hard to get going. If you run regularly and run 10 days in a row, the next day really isn't all that hard to run. I think I have trained my body to recover faster. I actually feel like I could run another marathon again this weekend, that is if I wanted to, I don't. But I may do 10 miles.
So I am back to running and feeling good. But I still have no definite plans on any races yet. Running Diva Mom suggests I run the Madison Half Marathon over Memorial Day Weekend. I have run the full, the 4 person relay and the 2 person relay but never the half there. Maybe, just maybe, this will be my year.
Wednesday, January 26, 2011
It is an odd feeling right now. I am going to continue to train and maybe even have a big mileage month in February but for what? I have not selected a full or half marathon this spring that I would like to race but I know there is something out there. More than likely I am going have to pick a closer race that I can drive to.
There are A LOT of marathons in Wisconsin in May that I could choose plus there are some other "fun" races that I could run as well. I may run the Lake Geneva Euro Cross Race like I wanted to last year before I signed up for the Fargo Marathon. This would be a long training run though. It is on a path that surrounds Lake Geneva and follows the entire shoreline going through all the mansions backyards. But it is kind of like a trail run and I am unfamiliar how to run those so I would only use it as a training run.
Paul is planning on running the Green Bay Marathon on the 3rd weekend in May so that is a possibility. The Wisconsin Marathon is on the 1st weekend of May and is local so maybe there. I just don't know.
Well, your guess may be as good as mine. Stay tuned and we will find out together.
Sunday, January 23, 2011
Saturday, January 22, 2011
Some quick hi-lights from today. The half marathon was very fast this morning. The winner was Eamon McKenna who finished in 1:09:25. He was FLYING. And a side note, he ran his college days at UW-Oshkosh where I ran. He was attended about 6 years after I graduated though. In all, 4 runners broke 1:20.
The marathon relay was a riot like last year. I mean really fun to watch and I am guessing, participate in. If you thought Eamon was running fast, 2 teams were going even faster. The winning team finished in 2:16:57. And just as impressively, 6 teams ran faster than 2:30 including another team made up of former runners from, you guessed it, UW-Oshkosh.
I do want to say Thanks to Erin for stopping by and saying "hi". She says she has been reading my blog "quietly"for awhile and wanted to introduce herself. She was running the relay herself. Hope you had fun, Erin!
I am going to sleep real soon now. I only got 4 to 5 hours the last 2 nights.
Thursday, January 20, 2011
Just before we started, I was able to get on the track and do my usual final 3 miles run before a marathon. I ran 11 laps total with the first 6 at about 8:20 pace and then the final 5 laps at closer to 7:15 pace. I like to get that last fast short run in before a race so my legs don't feel sluggish and when I run, they feel like I am just going slow, when in fact I am going faster. Does that make sense? It does to me, I think.
On the way home from Pettit, I got on the Interstate and proceeded to immediately have a flat tire. UUGGHH. It was VERY cold out, I think zero, and there was a wind, not to mention all the cars flying past at 60MPH. It was also the tire that was on the traffic side of the car. Luckily a sheriff was close and tried to help but the tire would not budge. It was REALLY stuck, even the sheriff could budge it. I ended up calling AAA and waited about a half hour for them to arrive to finally get my tire off. Did I mention I had on my running shoes with very little warmth to them. My toes were very cold.
But now I am home and ready to go to sleep. Tomorrow is the Icebreaker 5K, not sure what I am doing to help out as of yet. Most likely in packet pick up since I sort of figured out where all the bags were put. I also need to get the car tire fixed and pick up supplies for the Icebreaker. I guess tomorrow is full.
If I don't post until after Sunday, good luck to anyone who reads this that is doing the Icebreaker this weekend. Find me and say hi! And also, cheer on the Packers on Sunday!
Tuesday, January 18, 2011
My eyes were having that "cold coming on" feel to them and since I was a little sore today, I wimped out on my planned 3 mile run after work. I did have a Volleyball game scheduled so i wasn't too concerned. Extra rest right now shouldn't be a bad thing this close to and from a marathon. OS Volleyball was going fine until I went up for a block (or a spike, I don't remember) and my right foot landed on a lady on my teams foot and I turned my ankle. the first thought I had was "Oh Crap, there goes my marathon this weekend". But I got up quickly, excused myself from the game and began walking on it to keep it loose. Turns out it was a minor turn and nothing is strained or sprained but I still do feel a little twinge down there. It should be all good though. I have no plans on not running on Sunday.
So a little scare has been averted and now only 5 days until the Icebreaker Marathon. I love this race so I am really looking forward to it.
Monday, January 17, 2011
So today was a double workout. After work, I did a slushy 4 miles while it was snowing pretty good. It was 29F out so I was in shorts. I am sure the people in the cars thought I was crazy but it was actually very warm. Then when I got home, I had to shovel the driveway. One of these years I am going to get a snow blower. Until then, a shovelling I will go.
The Icebreaker Marathon is this Sunday and I feel like I am recovering really well from the double 8 days ago. Since I am on the committee, it will be a very busy time over the next few days. Thursday is packet assembly. Friday is packet pick up and the 5K Run. Saturday is 2 half marathon races (7:00 & 9:30AM) and then a marathon relay a little after noon. Sunday at 8:00AM is the full marathon.
I am going to hope that all runners finish quickly though I am sure that won't happen. You see, the Green Bay Packers play in the NFC Championship game starting 6 hours after the marathon begins. While I am sure I will be done by then, I was planning on staying until all the racers were done.
Good luck to any of you if you are running any of the Icebreaker races this weekend.
I was so glad that the time began with a 3!
Mike finishing pretty strong.
Paul finishes not long after Mike.
Thursday, January 13, 2011
Being a bit tired for the marathon earlier that day, we hit bed early. I ended up waking 2 hours before the start time as I usually do to let body do what it needs to do but Mike and Paul stayed in bed until maybe a half hour before the start time. No need to travel, the start line was 100 feet away!
Paul passed me somewhere between 2 and 3 miles and I didn't see him again. For some reason, the water stop near mile 3 had warm water?!?! It did not taste good and I tossed it. Warm may be good for the volunteers, but as a runner, it just sucked. I continued on. Finally at mile 6, my legs said something to the effect of, "Oh, I guess you really do want to run long again, OK, let's make the best of this" and I was able to clip off 3 straight sub 10 minutes miles. They half marathoners turned off around mile 8 or so and after that, it got very open. In fact, after the turn off, I turned around and there wasn't a runner 200 meters in front or behind me. This was OK and I found plenty runners later.
I saw this car in Mobile. Do you think they run a lot of marathons? I did notice the Flying Monkey!
Tuesday, January 11, 2011
The Mississippi Blues Marathon was the first of 2 marathons that I had planned for last weekend along with the First Light Mobile Marathon. I was travelling with my friends Mike & Paul who were also running both races so we could get 2 more states done toward a far off goal of running a marathon in all 50 states.
We left Milwaukee Friday morning flying to New Orleans where we rented a cart to drive 3 more hours up to Jackson, MS. The flight was uneventful but I did get to see a wonderful sunrise over the clouds.
We got to Jackson, checked into the hotel and headed off to the Expo to get out packets. The Expo was not very big at all but did have what we needed like Gu to purchase. They did have live music playing for most of the Expo which is a cool feature but what I am most impressed with from the start of this race was the packet contents. We received a nice short sleeve shirt which was a cotton one. I really liked this since I have way too many technical shirts and now I can wear this around more often. Next, int he packet, was 2 really cool swag items including what I think is the best piece of sway I have ever gotten at a race. Everyone got some Elvis sunglasses complete with black sideburns attached. They Are So Cool!!! We also got a pretty nice harmonica as well. I don't know how to play a harmonica all that well but it is fun to have. The Expo went very smoothly.
We woke up early on Saturday and drove to the start area and were able to park only 1 block from the start / finish area for free. It was very easy to find. The temps were in the upper 30's but there were no clouds in the sky and none were forecasted. The race started at 7AM, a few minutes before sunrise and was quite crowded the first few miles. There were over 650 full marathon runners and even more half marathoners starting but after 3 miles, the half marathoners cut off and the course was clear to go. It was here I stripped off my throw away shirt and was warmed up.
The course was described as "challenging" and I have to agree that it was. There were many hills all over the course with quite a bit of flat areas as well. The biggest issues I had with this course was that the streets in Jackson have a huge curved crest to them that running not int he center meant you had to run on an angle which was not easy. I usually tried to run in the center as much as possible and even close to traffic to avoid the hard angles. The course was a mix of residential and some business areas but mostly nice views with a few exceptions. Being a nice day, there were quite a few people out cheering us runners on.
My goal was to try to run about a 3:50 but I started slower but wasn't too worried. At mile 5, I needed to stop for a quick restroom break which made me lose about 2 minutes but I felt good afterwards. I could see the 4 hour pace group leader ahead of me but I knew he was a couple minutes ahead of pace as my Garmin kept me on track.
At mile 7, I saw Elvis come out of a port-o-let and wished him a happy Birthday since we were running on that day. He looked remarkable thin for being 76 years old. I did catch up to the 4 hour group and chatted with them for a bit. I learned that the pace leader had run the Icebreaker Marathon last year so that was cool. Not long after that I took off on them. I went through the half at about 1:57:30. My pace stayed good until about mile 18 when some hills began to take their toll on me but I was determined to still break 4 hours. I was not concerned with running the next day.
The hills were not very large but there were a lot of them. By mile 22, I was trying to figure out what I needed to run to still break 4 hours and knew that unless I had a complete breakdown, I had it. The sun was beating down on us the entire time which in some cases was nice, but did drain us some. At close to mile 23, we ran past a local school who had their drum corp out beating away. They were so good and very inspirational to keep us going. I took my last short walk break at mile 24 and then kept going. Now it was time for me to track down some of the runners I had seen in front of me for a lot of miles and use them to get me to the finish as fast as I could. I ended up passing a lot of them before the finish.
The last 1/2 mile was on a slight uphill climb and you could see the finish line for quite awhile through the downtown buildings. I get to the finish in a time of 3:56:14 good for 193rd place out of 665 finishers. Mike finished in 3:33:45 and Paul in 3:38:14. Of the 15 finishers from Wisconsin, Mike took 1st, Paul took 2nd, and I took 4th. They ripped on me for not completing the "sweep". I promised to try harder next time.
Elvis showing us his stuff after the race.
Right after I finished, they put this ginormous medal around my neck. I thought I was going to hit the ground it was so big and heavy. Definitely the largest medal I have ever received from a marathon. The post race good was not so good in my opinion. Cookies were OK but the food didn't seem appetizing to me. They did have some hot chocolate but it was so watered down it was actually quite bad. But the post race entertainment was pretty good. They had a stage set up where a few bands were playing and after the awards, they had a cool Elvis impersonator singing. We didn't stay long as we wanted to shower up before heading to Mobile, but it was fun while we were there.
All in all, I liked this race a lot. Best swag I have ever received from a race with the harmonica and really cool Elvis glasses (which Paul and I proudly wore most of the drive to Alabama, wonder what other drivers thought). Good shirt with a good design. Expo was average. Not big but adequate. The course was challenging but they didn't hide that. I just wish they could have tried to keep it on roads that were more level instead of crested. The medal was awesome but in some ways, maybe too big. Post race food was bland but the entertainment made up for it big time. I would definitely do this one again if I am ever in the area. Jackson did good.
The shirt was pretty good. At least it was not a technical shirt, I have too many of those.
The Medal was HUGE! I put it next to a dollar so you can see the true size.
OK, I may look like a real dork here, but I was having fun!
On to Alabama!
Sunday, January 9, 2011
I started slow and the let up some today. No, all kidding aside, after 5 miles, my legs figured I wasn't kidding about running 2 days in a row and settled in. I slowed in the second half but never bonked or "crashed and burned". Met lots of poeple through the race and was able to pick it up over the last 3 miles to not get a PW.
I will try to get the race reports in early in the week so stay tuned.
Saturday, January 8, 2011
Few quick notes on Mississippi Blues: 1. Awesome Swag, I can't wait to show you the coolest thing I ever got from a marathon bag. 2. Huge! I mean really Huge Medal. I thought I was going to the ground when they put it on my neck. 3. Hillier than I though, but not nearly as hilly as the Monkey.
I hope I can finish tomorrow. Wish me luck!
Wednesday, January 5, 2011
Disaster almost came my way after I changed and walked to the car. I slipped and almost went down hard tossing my bag to the ground to help keep my balance. I twisted my back just a bit but I think it is just fine. Close call.
Friday is travel day and tomorrow is a day off so now it is time to go off to Mississippi and Alabama.
Tuesday, January 4, 2011
So what is in store for 2011? I do have a few races I am already signed up for as well as many I want to run. I want to continue to keep my mileage up as it seems to work for me. I ran just over 1600 miles last year so if I don't have to take a break for for the tendinitis in my knee or any other issues that may arise, I may try to reach 1700 miles this year with lots during the summer.
Here is what I am already signed up for, the year starts out very fast:
January 8th is the Mississippi Blue Marathon in Jackson, MS with Paul & Mike.
January 9th is the First Light Marathon in Mobile, AL also with Mike and Paul. I know it is crazy to try 2 marathons on consecutive days but I did it 2 years ago with Paul and we get to mark off 2 states when we are done.
January 23rd is the InStep Icebreaker Indoor Marathon in Milwaukee, WI. It will be after only 2 weeks rest after the MS/AL double but I love this marathon. Definitely one of my favorites and I have done all of them so far. There is nothing like running a marathon when there is possibly a snow storm outside.
In March I will possibly run the Trailbreaker Marathon in Waukesha, WI again as a training run. I don't ever really have plans to "race" this one but it is cheap and close to home and I can get a full marathon into my total while running a training run.
In April, I will most likely run the Gary's Gallop 5K again. A friend of mine is the race director and he puts on a really nice race. Plus there is a 1 lap around the track free kids race my girls like to run and they get a ribbon for participating.
In May I have lots of choices. I could run the Door County Half Marathon, my favorite half marathon to date. I may also run the Lake Geneva Euro Cross Race around the lake. This is run the same time the full and half marathons are run but this is on a trail the goes along the entire shore line of the lake and is about 21 miles long.
In May, I could run the Wisconsin Marathon, LaCrosse Marathon, Eau Claire Marathon, or Green Bay Marathon, all in Wisconsin and all on my list to do someday.
I don't have many plans of longer races in the summer as I want to build up endurance with lots of miles. I will possibly do quite a few shorter races, maybe 5K for speed. I will also be planning the 3rd annual WELS Kids Marathon over the later spring and summer. I may do the Full Moon Half Marathon in August again too. I liked that one.
In the fall, I will plan on 2 full marathons again. Some I have my eye on are the Souix Falls Marathon in South Dakota, the Louisville Marathon, the Des Moines Marathon in Iowa, and the Columbus Marathon in Ohio.
I am contemplating a return to Nashville for the Harpeth Hills Flying Monkey Marathon. This is a great marathon and if I can swing it, I will go back.
I am also going to volunteer my time as the cross country coach for the girls at my daughters school if they will have me.
I know this is actually in 2012, but in the very first week. I am trying to save up to take the girls to Disney World and while there, I will run the Goofy Challenge and the girls may run the Disney World 5K.
So that is all I know for now. Plans are always changing so keep tuned it to see what ends up happening.
Happy Running to all of you!
Monday, January 3, 2011
Here are a few quick numbers from 2010:
1601 - Number if miles I ran in 2010
15 - Number of 20+ mile runs throughout the year
12 - Number or 100+ mile months
8 - Number of Marathons Completed in 2010
27 - Total Number of Marathons completed to date
3 - Number of new States with marathons completed: Georgia, North Dakota & Tennessee
January was an OK month with only 1 major race, the Icebreaker Indoor Marathon Gold Medal Challenge. Both Paul and I did this on January 23 & 24. The Gold Medal Challenge was a half marathon on Saturday followed by a Full Marathon on Sunday at the Pettit National Ice Center in Milwaukee, WI. The Gold Medal Challenge was inspired by the Walt Disney World Goofy Challenge. I ended up running the half marathon in 1:54:53 and then ran out of energy in the full marathon finishing in 4:23:48. But I did run slightly faster in the full than last year.
February saw me running no race but preparing myself for the first weekend in March where another marathon was to be run.
March started out with the Snickers Marathon Energy Bar Marathon in Albany, GA. Mike travelled with me down to Georgia where we met up with Paul. The goal was a sub 4 hour marathon. Cool weather was welcomed but after an unscheduled restroom break at mile 8, I found myself 2 minutes off pace at the half (2:02). I slowly picked it up and caught the 4 hour pace group just after mile 18 and kept up my pace. The last 2 miles is where I started to struggle but I held on to finish in 3:58:51.
On March 27th, I ran my 3rd consecutive Trailbreaker Marathon in Waukesha, WI as a long run, not a race. The race director had wanted some of my suggestions on how to improve the race so I was curious what he did. Some improvements were made like more mile markers (though they were off some) and a medal. I ended up doing my 26.2 mile long run on a somewhat difficult course in 4:16:09. It is really only difficult for 7 miles in the middle but then you have to still run 9 miles back.
I ran 2 races in April, a 5K and another training run marathon. On March 17th, I ran Gary's Gallop 5K, a race put on by a friend of mine. It is a little difficult of a course for a 5K but I was able to run a 20:33 just missing 3rd in my age group.
One week later, on March 24, I ran the Jailbreak Marathon in Wautoma, WI. There were only 36 total runners in the full marathon and it was raining at the start. 2 miles later, the rain stopped and I ended up running with a few people most of the way. I ran well finishing in 4:06:13, not bad for a training run.
I ran 3 races in May starting with the Lake Geneva 5K, part of the marathon festivities of races. This was an extremely difficult 5K with 3 hills over 150 feet each. I raced pretty good and finished in 5th overall in 22:27. As you can see by the time, it was a difficult course, but fun.
May 21 & 22 was the Fargo Marathon & 5K. Mike and I drove the 9 hours to Fargo together for the races. I was aiming for a good time in this marathon but I did the 5K the day before as well because it was a run 2 races, get 3 medals thing. I ran the 5K extremely easy in 27:56. That night at the dinner, I was able to meet and talk to Dean Karnazes some. He is the guy who ran 50 marathons in 50 states in 50 days. Cool guy. The marathon started out for 7 miles in the rain followed by 6 miles of good weather. the sun then came out and it got pretty warm and humid and then the last 5 miles were extremely windy. the race ended inside the Fargo Dome which was cool and very helpful since it was so windy. I finished in 4:00:16. 17 measly seconds off breaking 4 hours which was one of my goals. I was OK with it though.
1 week later, I ran the Maifest 10K in Door County, WI. I was doing well until about 4 1/2 miles when my legs suddenly remembered I ran a marathon the week before. I still finished in 46:03 so that was good.
The end of May was also the sign up deadline for the 2nd annual WELS Kids Marathon which I am the director for. This year there were 397 kids signed up to run 26.2 miles while reading 26 books or 26 hours over the summer.
June & July
I ran no races in June or July except for a 5K with my daughter, her first ever 5K, but I did use this time to build up miles and train hard. On July 4th, I ran the 4th Fest 5K in Waterford, WI with my oldest daughter Melissa. She ran/walked it in 37 minutes beating her goal of breaking 40 minutes. She did great! I ended up totalling 210 miles for July, a new 1 month high for me.
I cut my miles back in early August as I wanted to test myself in a Half Marathon in August. I ran the Full Moon Half Marathon with Paul and Greg in Sheboygan, WI which was an evening race and a pretty cool race. The race started at about 6:30 and was rolling small hills. I went out at 8:00 pace for the 7 miles and then was able to really pick it up as I felt really good. I finished the last 5K in something like 22:00 and ran the half in 1:41:09 good for 3rd in my age group. I have never placed in a half marathon before so that was really cool. It was almost dark when I was able to finish so running at almost night was a lot of fun.
August 28th was the final mile of the WELS Kids Marathon. All 3 of my girls ran in the marathon and earned their medals. There is such a cool and awesome feeling watching all those kids finish their marathons and giving them a high 5. So many smiles that day!
I didn't race again in September, instead I trained hard running 183 miles over lots of hills preparing myself for the fall marathons and the Monkey coming. I even did 1 very hill 26.3 miles training run.
October was a really good month for running. 1 week before the Grand Rapids Marathon, I took my oldest daughter to a 5K to celebrate the completion of her first year in Cross Country. We ran the Root River Run 5K. I helped pace her and she ran a 28:13, a 9 minute PR!!!! She was so happy and even won her age group. There were not many runners in the race so I ended up taking 2nd in my age group as well.
October 17th was the Grand Rapids Marathon with Mike and Paul. Like 3 years earlier in Grand rapids, we had almost perfect weather, for me at least. Cool and dry with not too much wind. My goal was to beat my time of 3:43 from 3 years ago so I ran with the 3:44 pace group until I ran ahead of them after mile 21. I suffered a little over the last 2 miles as the pace group passed me but I kept them in sight and finished in 3:45:03. I was happy with this time.
2 weeks later was the Haunted Hustle Marathon in Middleton, WI. I drove the course ahead of time so I knew there were some challenging hills in the first half so revised my plan and just tried to go for sub 4. Through the half, I was at 3:57 and running steady. Good thing I had a garmin on as the mile markers were way off during the race. At mile 20, I started to have some tired legs. Somehow by mile 23, I fought them off and was determined to break 4 hours. A lot of runners were dressed in costumes in this racer] since it was Halloween weekend so when a nice lady passed me at mile 25 in a bumble bee costume, I knew I needed to pick it up. I did and finished in 3:56:31. This was the first time I was ever able to run 2 consecutive sub 4 hour marathons. Again, I was happy with this time.
The final race of the year was scheduled in November and one that I had anticipated since I signed up for it on August 1st and it sold out in only 32 minutes. Mike and I travelled to Nashville, TN for the Harpeth Hills Flying Monkey Marathon which was on November 21st. Only a little over 200 runner get to run this race and this was by far the most difficult marathon course I have ever run. The race has lots and lots of large hills and has over 3500 feet of elevation gain and loss throughout the race. But it is put on by a good group of people who know how to make you suffer yet have a great time doing it. I ended up running easy for the first half and then trying to just maintain the second half. I did negative split the course by a couple minutes and finished in 4:28:37. I was also able to meet for the first time a blog friend I have had for a couple years. Melanie from Life is a Marathon also ran the race with a few of her friends. It was a lot of fun to finally meet someone whom I knew for a long time via only the Internet and emails. She is a great lady and also writes a really good blog!
I ran 161 miles in December with no races. I guess the goal here was to achieve the 1600 mile total for the year so I mixed it with short runs in the cold and snow, and longer runs at the Pettit Center.
All in all, a good year. Could it have been better? Sure, but I'll take this kind of year anytime. I hope you all had a great year running (or in any other area) as well.
I will try to write my 2011 Year in Preview Post real soon as it begins with a real bang! And by bang, I mean 3 marathons in January including 2 this coming weekend back to back. Crazy? Yes. Insane? Sure! Fun? Absolutely!!!!