Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Another "Training Run" Marathon

Another 2 days of good runs. Monday was 7 miles and today was hills again with Mike. This time 6 reps. Not exactly the type of training runs you do the week before a marathon, is it? Saturday is the Trailbreaker Marathon that I plan on running. I plan on running the same as I have the last 3 times, strictly as a long training run. The course doesn't lend itself to a fast time but I like the course for a training run. The first 11 and final 9 miles are all on a paved bike trail with little, gradual elevation gain/loss, but the middle 6 miles is on a grass trail, over some muddy area, through some woods on a skinny dirt trail fill of large wet stones and a gain of about 250 feet. Oh, did I forget that when you get to the top of the hill, you have a 40 foot observation tower to climb? It is definitely a unique race. My friends Mike, Paul, and Chris also plan on running so I will have a few people to see as I pass them on their way back. The course is almost a perfect out and back except for the first mile so I will see all of them somewhere. I don't plan on running fast as these middle miles can take a lot out of you. Maybe between 9:00 to 9:30 pace on the way out. Super easy on the trails to the tower and back and then see how I feel after I get back on the paved trail. The past 2 years I have run 4:16 each year so I assume I will be somewhere near there again. Sounds like a good training run to me. Keep on Running!!!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Cold and Snowy Long Run

I woke up at about 5AM this morning to get ready for my long run planned with Mike. After some quick oatmeal, I was on the road to pick up Mike. We were planning on going to the White River Trail that we have never ran on before about 10 miles from Mike's home. We arrived as it was starting to get light out.

It was cold, Mike was in some running tights but I opted to stay in shorts which at first I didn't know if it was wise or not. I think it was 22F out and it was lightly snowing with huge snowflakes. It was serene running through the large flakes falling as we headed out.

The trail is a former rail bed so it it pretty flat but i really didn't want to run fast so I kept it easy and Mike actually stayed with me for most of the time. Guess he wanted to go really slow (for his usual pace).

The decision on wearing shorts ended up being a good idea. I am sure the tights would have been OK, but after 2 miles, I was warm enough in shorts. The only time I had an issue with the shorts was about 5 1/2 miles in when we ran up on a guy walking his unleashed dog. The dog ended up half jumping up on my legs and came quite close to scratching. I felt the claws but luckily no penetration. I get nervous when dogs jump or run up on me. The owners always say the same thing like "oh, he is playful" or "He wouldn't hurt a fly". Well, I don't know that, especially when the dog aggressively comes toward me.

We turned around just after 6 miles and headed back but we were at a very slow pace. At times the snow was coming down harder but always large flakes that didn't accumulate much, maybe a 1/2 inch on the trail which just added to the cushioning. It never stopped snowing the entire run.

We had planned to keep going after we got to the car but not after I ate a quick PB & J sandwich since I was out of GU. So we headed the other way on the trail about 3 or so miles. As we turned back toward the car again, my legs were felling very tired so Mike went a little faster as I just kept it slow and easy. I could always see him ahead of me so when we got back to the car at 18.6 miles, I could see that he had kept going. Ugh, so I kept going too. I was so ready to be done. He wanted to go 19 miles but I said, as long as we were still going, let's make it an even 20, so we did.

I had stashed some Chocolate Milk in the trunk for a nice after run treat and then we headed home. This was a nice trail and kept up pretty good so we plan on heading back. I think the trail is a total of 12 miles long so a good 24 miler would be easy to do. Nice views along the way of creeks and valleys and some farmland. No really hill except for the little railroad grade hills. A few quaint very small towns along the way too. I bet this trail is used a lot during the summer by bikers.

All in all, I was not please with my run since I tired so early but I got it done and can relax the rest of the weekend now. A little over 40 miles for the week too. I guess it wasn't too bad.

Keep on Running!!!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Best Basketball Game I Have Ever Seen

I have been watching a lot of basketball the last few days. Hey, we all know I like the NCAA Tourney. So with Wisconsin AND Marquette both making the sweet 16, things couldn't be better for the Wisconsin teams in the tourney. But that is not the game I am talking about that was the best one I have ever seen.

Greg (my coworker and WELS Kids Marathon committee member), his son, and I went to Madison to watch the Division 1 & 2 High School Boys State Championship games on Saturday. The first game was OK but the second game, the D1 Championship was unbelievable. Back and forth the entire game with crisp well executed playing. A last second 3 pointer to send it to overtime. A good 1st overtime still tied to send it to a 2nd overtime. A timeout called with 4 seconds left up by 2 when the team had no timeouts remaining thus a Technical Foul called and the kid made both to send the game to a THIRD overtime. In the third overtime, a 3 pointer with 10 seconds left to ties the game but a tough shot to win the game with 2 seconds left. We weren't cheering for any specific team so it was awesome just watching it all unfold. Neither team deserved to lose that game. Great, great game!

This all on a weekend that I intended on running, but lack of sleep and rain convinced me that maybe I needed a rest. Did I? No, but I am going to use that excuse. I will be back at it again this coming week.

I did see something in Madison that made me wish I had my camera. I saw a sign that said "Kill the Bill" (Imagine it in your mind). I think I should be quite offended by that. What did I ever do to that person I have never met? Naw, it has everything to do with the protests and controversy here in Wisconsin and specifically Madison. Perhaps you have seen it all over the national news since Mid February. I am not going to get into politics here or go on a diatribe as to which side I support. I just thought the sign was humorous.

Keep on Running!!!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Spring Training & The NCAA

I did my first hill workout of the year today. Mike and I headed to Mountain Road (yeah that is it's real name) for a few hill reps. We only did 3 reps and it sure felt like I hadn't done hills in awhile. So I am calling this a spring training workout, just getting back into it. They weren't too bad.

Right now I am watching the Wisconsin Badgers play Belmont in the NCAA Tournament. I love the NCAA Tournament. I love the upsets (unless it is my team) and all the close games, buzzer beaters, etc. One and done! Don't have an off day or you will be out.

I also like joining bracket pools. I never win them, but I still like them. The last couple years, I have had my girls do 'brackets' too. It is always fun to see who they pick. Usually it is a team they have recognized (Wisconsin) or the team sounds cool (Butler because "But" is in their name, they are all still under 10 after all). For those of you who are into college basketball, you may get a kick out of who that have going far so I thought I would share.

Katelynn's final 4 is Kentucky, Temple, Kansas, & Wisconsin with Kentucky winning it all, or as she calls them, Kentuckyburgie. Katelynn is 5

Megan's final 4 is Marquette, Temple, Kansas, & Old Dominion with Temple winning it all. Megan is 6.

Melissa's final 4 is Georgia, Connecticut, Louisville, & Wisconsin with Wisconsin willing it all. Guess she is a 'homer'. Melissa is 9.

And for the record, I didn't pick too many upsets and have Ohio State, Duke, Kansas, & Pittsburgh in the final 4 with Ohio State winning.

Share you final 4 if you would like.

Keep on Running!!!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

First Great Day of Weather of the Year

I had our wrap up meeting for the Icebreaker Indoor Marathon today after work. I had planned on meeting Dana before the meeting for a nice run but when he didn't show up on time, so I went out myself. It was gorgeous outside today for March in Wisconsin. It was sunny, a small breeze and maybe in the mid 50's, just great for a run. I ran in a short sleeve shirt outside for the first time of 2011. I ended up running a 10K on the roads near the Pettit Center.

I was using my new Garmin for the first time so I had the average pace feature on like the old one. Before the run, I thought I was going to have to run pretty fast since I was going to be running with Dana but since he didn't show, I could run easier. Do you think I would take advantage of this? Noooooo!!! I ended up running the first mile in just over 8:00 and felt really good. After mile 2 being close to the same pace, I decided to turn the run into a Tempo Run instead of an Easy Run. I picked it up some and ended up running a 10K at Tempo Pace finishing in 48:37. I was quite happy about the run...and the weather.

After a short walk to cool off, I went into Pettit and into the cool ice oval area and found Dana running laps. We missed each other by a few minutes and instead of guessing which direction I went, he just went to the track. He had 3 laps to go so I ran an additional 3 laps to make it a full 7 miles for the day.

The Icebreaker wrap up meeting went well. We looked at all the reviews on Active and Marathon Guide and will try to make the changes to make as many people happy as possible. We know 100% is impossible, but there were quite a few good ideas in the reviews we will try to make happen.

Keep on Running!!!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

A New Toy

Last May I ran the Fargo Marathon and that was the last run my Garmin Forerunner 201 was usable. I was able to see my final time but not able to see my mile splits. Since then, the only time I have been able to use a Garmin on a run was the couple times I borrowed Mike's for a few races.

Do I need a Garmin to run with? No, but I certainly like some of the features they provide. So I finally broke down, went to Amazon, and bought the Garmin Forerunner 305. I haven't even used it yet. I put in some of the setting but haven't even synced up with the satellites yet. This Garmin has a few more features that my last one didn't. Not sure if I will use them, but it has them. This one has a heart rate monitor and software, my last one didn't. This one has mapping capability and elevation, my last one didn't. I am sure I will play with those but will I use them? Time will tell. I hope to start using it tomorrow.

I think I got a pretty good deal on it too. It was $127.99 with free shipping. It says it's usually price is $299, but I know better.

Funny thing about Amazon. I have bought a few things from there and something seems to happen often. The box that was sent to me was so incredibly larger than was needed it was funny. The Garmin box was about 5" x 5" x 5". The box that was sent to my was something like 8" x 10" x 18", it was huge! You would think they would have a smaller box than that. Lots of air pillows inside. I guess I can't complain though, it does look intact.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

A Good Finish to a Good Week

This past week, I ran on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. That may be one of the longest running streaks I had in quite some time. I usually take at least 2 days off per week and since I am not training for anything specific, I didn't think I would be running that often. But it turns out I did. Most of them were easy runs between 4 and 7 miles but they were all pretty good runs.

I had every intention of waking up on Saturday morning doing something running wise. I didn't. I had every intention of waking up before church on Sunday and running as well. I didn't again (stayed up too late plus lost an hour for Daylight Savings). Once church was over and I ate some lunch, I then decided to get out there. It was nice out, maybe mid 30's and mostly sunny.

I started out pretty slow and easy as the 2 PB & J sandwiches in my stomach were still thick. But I gradually picked up the pace. At close to mile 5, I had to run over some snow and ice on a sidewalk and ended up going through and got a complete soaker! It was cold but didn't last too long and I was still feeling better as time went on. I ended up running a little over a half marathon and was did it at a pretty easy feeling sub 8:30 pace. Another good run.

A little over 42 miles for the week without a "big long" run. I am happy about that.

On another running (or I should say walking) note, I was reading the Sunday paper and read that the 50,000 meter race walking world record was broken in France. Care to guess what the new world record is? 3:35:27!!!! HOLY CRAP! That is a little over 31 miles too! I can't even RUN 26.2 miles in that time yet this guy is walking 5 more miles in less time. Shows you how good these guys really are. Congrats to you Yohann Diniz!

Keep on Running!!! (or Walking)

A Good Finish to a Good Week

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

One of My Favorite Running Links

Do you have a runners website that you always go to? Maybe it is a Blog Site (I have quite a few I visit regularly). Maybe it is Runner World? I go there almost everyday and read what is up in the world of running. Maybe it is something else all together.

One site I go to ALL. THE. TIME. is http://www.gmap-pedometer.com/. What is so great about this site? Here, you can see how far you ran, plan a running route, check the elevation differences of your run, see satellite images of the area you are going to or have run in, and a whole bunch of other stuff. If I am planning a run later in the day, I may go here and plot out where I want to go to see how far it is. If I am in a new area, I go here to see what routes may be possible and what hills I may encounter. If I have already run, I track the route I ran to see how far it was that I ran.

I assume most of you already know about this site. It is not exactly a secret. But for those of you who haven't, here is a quick view of what you get.

I know the picture is small, but you can see I mapped out a possible run that I could have done. You click on "Start Recording" button and then double click on the map where you want to start. An upside-down teardrop will appear. Then, as you click along the route you ran, the route will fill in with a red line marking the shortest distance between the previous mark and the next mark. This is if you have the "automatically (runners)" tab checked. It will follow along roads and bike trails if they are marked on the map. As you go along, it will put another teardrop at each mile (or kilometer if you choose Metric). If you make a mistake, simply click on the "Undo Last Point" button. You can zoom in and out a lot to make the map the size you want it to be.

Sometimes the map isn't up to date and a trail or road you run on is not on the map. What I do when this happens is click on the "Satellite" or "Hybrid" tabs on the top of the map and you can see a visual image of the area and maybe see that trail you are running on. Then change the Draw Route option to "Manually (straight lines)" and simply click along the same way but know this will only make straight lines and not follow any route.

Once you are done with your route, if you want to see the elevation change to your route, click on the Elevation Small or Large links and the site will go out and figure the elevation level of your entire run.

Like I said, I go here a lot. It is easy to use and seems quite accurate. I know there are other sites like Map My Run, etc. but I have always like this one.

Just thought I would share in case you were interested.

Keep on Running!!!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Good Days

Today's run was one of the runs. I ran a little over 7 miles over some hills and after 2, I felt like I was almost floating. It felt like I could run at that faster pace forever. It just felt really good. I ended up averaging 8:15 per mile and wasn't all that tired when I was done. So it was good!

No new blisters either. The other ones are almost gone (as well as a few toenails) so I guess I won't be wearing any sandals anytime soon.

So that is about it. You have some bad days when running and you have some good days. Today was a great day!

Keep on Running!!!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Ice for Skating and Ice for Knees

I am feeling good but I am feeling beat up. Does that make sense?

I have run 4 times this week since the Maple Leaf Indoor Marathon last weekend. Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, I went on some easy 4 milers. Twice I ran with Mike for good conversation, the other by myself, all after work. Tuesday I could still feel the marathon (duh), but Wednesday and Thursday were very easy so I felt pretty good.

But then there was today. As I write this, I am sitting on the lounge chair in my family room with an ice pack on my right knee, 2 quite large blisters on my left foot toes and a bloody broken blister on my right foot toes. I feel like the walking wounded but I feel good. Make sense? I didn't think so.

You see, tonight I decided to take Melissa (my oldest daughter) to the Pettit Center for some Ice Skating. She got some new (used) Ice Skates for Christmas and likes to skate. We went skating together last Sunday (Yes, I can Ice Skate ... sort of ... and I can do it the day after a marathon ... sort of). She wanted to go again but I really didn't. Sounded like a perfect opportunity for her to skate while I ran laps. So that is what we did. She had a blast going around the Olympic Oval, that is until her skates laces loosened up too much and she didn't know how to retie them properly. I ended up running 40 laps which is just over 11 miles. She thinks she did 12 laps, maybe 3 miles.

I felt pretty good most of the laps, that is until the last few when I picked it up. My knee got pretty sore the final 3 or so laps, reason for the ice on my knee right now. I didn't even realize I broke a blister until the socks cam off so that doesn't hurt at all. The other blisters are annoying, but maybe a weekend of no more running will help.

I don't think that this week was the recommended workouts for the week following a marathon, but then again, when have I ever done the sane thing. I hope you all had a great week.

Keep on Running!!!