Monday, November 28, 2011

Race Report - 2011 Talmer Turkey Trot

Thanksgiving morning was the Talmer Turkey Trot in Burlington, WI. I went to this race not to "race" it, but rather run it and help my 9 year old daughter, Melissa, run her first ever 4 mile race.

It was a cloudy and cool morning in Wisconsin but a really good morning for racing. After a quick breakfast, Melissa and I picked up my friend Amy to give her a ride to the race. Amy was a teammate of mine on the Jennipede Marathon team back in October and we found out we live very close to each other. Now she is a new running partner of mine and also writes a blog Running (Reading) is cheaper than Therapy.

One really cool thing about this race is that they had an indoor packet pickup / post race /awards ceremony area. It wasn't exactly freezing outside but indoors definitely helped. After packet pickup, almost getting run over by a crazy old man driving his car, and a short warm up, the race started. Amy was running by herself way ahead of us but I was running with Melissa helping her pace. Our goal was to run an ever 9:00 pace and finish in 36:00. She had one time earlier run 4 miles but that was with a break or 2 along the way. She ran easy and we passed mile 1 in 8:53. Mile 2 was 9:02 and mile 3 was 9:01. Then in mile 4, she really wanted to run hard but was getting tired. With some encouragement, we were able to pass a lot of runners who were slowing down and sprinted to the finish for a time of 35:07. She finished in 110th place out of 245 and she ended up in 4th in her age group of 14 & under. Only two 13 year old girls and and a 12 year old beat her. I was so proud of how well she ran and was able to handle the pain that comes late in a race.

After the race, an older gentleman (maybe 50 to 60) complimented her and said she inspired him to run as fast as he did. We must have passed him later in the race.

We found Amy who was able to break 30 minutes and take 3rd in her age group and headed to the past race area (Indoors!) There they had cookies, pretzels, crackers, bananas and best of all, chocolate milk, lots of chocolate milk! We won a couple raffle prizes and then headed home for a wonderful Thanksgiving Day.

Here is Amy, Melissa, and I before the race!

After this weekends shorter run and today's easy run, I am up to 99.9 miles for the month. I hope I can squeeze in another 0.1 this month (LOL).

Keep on Running!!!

Monday, November 21, 2011

D3 Cross Country and a Monday Long Run

It was a pretty busy week last week and weekend so I wasn't able to get in all the running I would have liked to. I did get in 2 different runs with my daughter and a run with Mike on the track, but the weekend was absent of running.

Well, absent of running by me. On Saturday, I did take my daughter and drive up to Oshkosh to watch the NCAA Division 3 National Cross Country Championships that was being hosted by my Alma Mater, UW-Oshkosh. She had never been to a top level Cross Country meet before and just loved watching all the really fast runners and teams competing. We cheered on UW-Oshkosh as much as we could where the Men finished in 5th place and the lone Oshkosh woman runner took 2nd place overall.

Since I did not get in a long run over the weekend and I am off of work this whole week, I decided to get in a longer run this morning. I traveled to the lakefront and ran a bike trail I like to run a few times a year. It was great weather for running this morning, overcast and about 40 with a bit of wind. It turned out to be a good 15 miles today averaging 8:38 pace with every mile under 9:00. I felt pretty good the entire way. I did get nervous a bit a few miles in when I realized I forgot to take a salt packet before I left. I kept going and made sure I took one when I finished so no cramping and the muscles still feel good.

Thursday is the Talmer Turkey Trot. I think Melissa is ready to run 4 miles without stopping, she is confident.

Also, congrats to the University of Wisconsin Badgers Cross Country team for winning the NCAA Division 1 Cross Country Championships today.

Keep on Running!!!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

A Run in Chocolate City, USA

After a weekend off of running, I was able to get back to it this weekend with a 17 mile run.

I have a friend who is starting a new Thanksgiving Day race in Burlington, WI, about 20 miles from my home, and I decided to look up the course on line to see what it was like. As I was looking at some satellite images of the area, I noticed a new trail I did not know existed. I followed it from the images and noticed it was a little over 6 1/2 miles long. So I thought to myself that this might be a good trail to run, to see what it had to offer, to see where and what I would see.

So I got up early Saturday morning and drove to Burlington and parked near where the Thanksgiving Day run would take place. Just as the sun rose, I started my run in the cool morning and did a close to 2 miles before I hit the trail.

The trail is called the White River Trail and it has the same name as a trail that goes west (this one goes east) from Burlington to Elkhorn. For some reason, the trail is not completed through the town which would have been really cool if it did but I understand that isn't always possible. This one is also very straight. The only turns on the entire 6 miles is when the trail needs to go under the newly constructed highway and the continues on it's straight course. Elevation doesn't change much at all and the trail is maintained nicely. The trail was also almost empty. I saw 1 runner at the start of the trail as I went out, 1 person at the turn around walking his dog, and another near the start again on my way back. The solitude was nice, just me and my thoughts on the trail.

I kept a very even pace almost the entire way. The average pace only fluctuated between 8:56 to 9:00 since mile 2. It felt good.

With 2 miles to go, right where the trail starts, I passed the Nestle Factory. Burlington is called Chocolate City, USA and if you have never lived or gone near a chocolate factory, it can be a real treat to the nose. The smell was wonderful for about a half mile. Brought back memories of going to Marquette U basketball games as a kid and passing the now gone Ambrosia Chocolate Factory in Milwaukee.

I finished strong and felt good afterwards.

Keep on Running!!!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Good-bye to Summer

Summer is definitely over here in the upper Midwest. We enjoyed a very nice autumn and we are now getting closer and closer to winter. Today I saw the first snow of the year. It didn't accumulate on the ground but it was coming down fast for awhile. By the time I ran in the evening, the snow was gone and there was a light rain (maybe a touch of sleet). It was like 35F and windy so the 'wind chill' was said to be 22F. Yep, summer is gone.

Also, not that daylight savings time has ended, now my after work runs are mostly in the dark, which changes the options that I have. I can still run on the bike trail, but I risk tripping or turning an ankle on the uneven ground or unseen object on the trail. So I am back to some routes I run in the winter months along roads that are less travelled but have much bigger hills.

The colder and darker months are here, but as always, I ...

Keep on Running!!!

Monday, November 7, 2011

A Weekend Off?

Well, almost off.

I figured after 3 marathons in October, each 2 weeks apart, I deserved a weekend off. I went into the weekend thinking I was going to run, but each morning I woke up and decided not to. I had a couple friends who were running a half marathon somewhat close by, but when I looked into it late in the week, it was already full so I couldn't sign up. So (almost) no running.

I say almost because I did go running with my 9 year old daughter. She finished her Cross Country season a few weeks ago and now there are a few races coming up that we may sign her up for. So to keep her 'in shape', we went on a 3.4 mile run. We were going to take a small break half way but I convinced her to keep going. Soon enough, i convinced her to try to make it all the way to a 5K without stopping, then we just ran the rest of the way non stop. In the last 100 meters, she kicked it in and I had a hard time keeping up with her.

Her PR for a 5K is 28:41 and during this training run, she went through the 5K mark at 29:07 so I think she is ready to break that PR. The next race for her will be on Thanksgiving morning where we will run a 4 mile race. It will be her longest race ever. then on December 4th, we are looking to sign her up for a "Girls on the Run" 5K. I will cheer her on and do my best to keep her on pace. That one is held at The Pettit Center in Milwaukee where the Icebreaker Marathon is held. Then in early January is the Disney World Marathon Weekend 5K (she doesn't know about this one yet) and then in Mid January is the Icebreaker 5K.

We ran another 2 miles tonight during my 5 mile run. She is having fun running with Dad.

Keep on Running!!!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

A Couple Haunted Hustle Pictures

Jamie is a friend of mine I met last year right after the Haunted Hustle Marathon. She writes a runners blog names Running Diva Mom. Check her out. We met before the race for a little bit. With her was her cute kids and her parents supporting her on her 26.2 mile journey.

Dan and I ran the first 6 or so miles together. Dan was in the Jennipede Team with me so we both wore out Make It Happen Jennipede Shirts for the race. I think there were at least 5 Jennipede runners in this race. Maybe more that I did not know of. This picture was about 4 and a half miles into the race.

Here I am somewhere near 17 or 18 (I think). It was around here I had my on point where I did not feel so good. I was happy that it only lasted a mile or so and then I felt strong again.

Jamie (or should I say Dorothy) ran her first marathon since last fall. She ran awesome! Maybe there were some flying monkeys from Nashville chasing her. Maybe it was that she wasn't in her Ruby Slippers. Either way, she ran really fast. And she will run a half marathon this weekend, one 1 week rest. She takes after me, Crazy Jamie!!!

Halloween night was only 2 nights later. It was chilly here in Wisconsin, maybe the mid 40's for Trick or Treat so I decided to set up a fire on the driveway while I gave candy to all the kids dressed up. I even gave a few "warm me up" shots of Rum Chata out to some of the parents.

Keep on Running!!!