Saturday, December 31, 2011

Jennipede Victory Lap

Today I was able to get together with a few of the World Record holding Jennipede team for what we called "A Victory Lap". We were invited to participate in a local 5K here on New Year's Eve called "Run into the New Year". About 15 or so of us Jenniepede showed up for the race.

Here is our fearless leader, Robin on the right and Craig on the left.

Before we lined up for the start, we were able to get a group picture with Jenny who was able tun run with us today. She was in her special made adult stroller so she could join us after being bundled up.

A group shot of most of us who ran today. A few of us missing. Jenny Crain with us of course!

My daughter, Melissa, was able to join us and for the day, was a honorary Jennipede. She ran the entire 5K with us. Bri lead us again but unfortunately Lieutenant Dan was not with us to lead us in some chants along the way. We were able to entertain ourselves anyways with whatever came to our minds. At points we were just yelling out food items like a vendor at a baseball game. Stupid? Yes. Entertaining? Yes.

Lined up before heading outside for the start of the 5K. There were about 5 or 6 more of us at the end of this group.

It is unusually warm for New Year's Eve here in Milwaukee so the temps were not a problem. I was actually surprised how many people were bundled up as much as they were. It was sunny and like 35 to 40 out. We didn't take any breaks this time, but no need for a 5K. We ended up running just under 36 minutes.

Amy is on the right here and sorry, but I didn't get the name of the lady on the left. My Bad.

I am hoping that we will be able to get a Jennipede reunion sometime in the future. Somewhere where we can talk and just have fun. I will get to see a few more Jennipedes in a couple weeks as I know some that are running at the Icebreaker Marathon Relay.

Keep on Running!!!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas

Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house, not a creature was stirring, except for me finishing cleaning the house and deciding to get a quick runner blog post in. All the children were snug in their beds with visions of DS games, digital cameras, Princess stuff, Wii games danced in their heads. And I in my PJ's just settled down for hopefully a not so long post.

Yes, it is Christmas Eve and I would like to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas. Please keep Jesus in your Christmas celebrations and I wish you all only the best this Christmas season.

I did get in a long(ish) run this Christmas Eve very early in the morning so I could be done for festivities with my family. I was out the door dark and early at 5:57 this morning and it was the coldest run this new winter season. In fact, it was the first run for me in running tights as it was something like 16F out when I left. the first 5 miles were pretty dark out and right by mile 9, I was able to see the sun just coming over the horizon as I looked over near a clearing. It was beautiful. As far as the run, it wasn't exactly a good one, not horrible, but very sluggish and somewhat slow. I ended up going 11.8 miles and the average pace was 9:33. There were a few hills, but nothing really to complain about. I just wasn't on top of it this morning and that is OK. I have only 2 weeks until the Goof so better to get the sluggish run out of the way now instead of later.

The 11.8 miles this morning brings me to a total of just over 1620 miles for the year, a new record total for me. Not the only record for me this year, no Marathon PR though, but a high total of mile. Last year I just crept over the 1600 mile mark and with 1 more week to go this year, I should end up somewhere near 1640 would be my guess.

I won't put in too many more miles since I do have the Goof coming up and I am not fixated on a specific mileage goal now that I am over last year's total.

The return of the Jennipede!

There is a New Year's Eve race in Milwaukee called "Run into the New Year" held at Noon on New Year's Eve (don't you think midnight would be better?), and the entire Jennipede team has been invited to run compted. That would be a good final run of the year, at least I think so. I am not sure how many teammates we will have but it should be fun linking up again even if it is only for 3.1 miles. I am planning on bringing my oldest daughter along so she can run next to us. She needs a run in before the Disney 5K anyways. I hope we get a bunch of the team but time will tell.

I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas this year, or maybe a Happy Hanukkah. I hope Santa leaves you a new pair of running shoes under the tree, or maybe a new Garmin watch, or a running singlet and shorts? Either way, I wish you all the best!

Keep on Running!!!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Last Long Run of the Year

I wanted to get in a final long run since the Goof is only 3 weeks away. I also wanted to get in one more long run at the Pettit Center as a tune up for the Icebreaker Indoor Marathon which is in only 5 weeks. So a Saturday morning run at Pettit would seem to have solved all of that . . . except that the running track was closed on Saturday morning due to a USA Speed Skating Championships going on. So I rescheduled my run on Friday evening instead.

My plan was to get in 20 miles and at least 73 laps. Mike was joining me a Pettit as well for his first ever run there as he prepared for his first Icebreaker Indoor Marathon. When I got there, he was already 7 laps in and was planning on running 50 laps but at a faster pace than me. We ran a few laps together before he ran his pace and I did mine.

I was taking my usual breaks of 30 seconds every 10 laps (~2.75 miles) and when Mike was finished, I was just coming up on 40 laps and stopped to talk a bit before continuing. By 50 laps in, my legs were starting to get tired and I was running a little faster than I wanted to (1:58 Half Marathon Pace). By this time, the open skating was done and they had turned the outside track lights off and only the hockey rink lights were on but still plenty light enough to run but I was the only one on the track as I got permission to keep running.

If I was feeling good, I was going to keep running to 80 laps which is just over 22 miles. I wasn't feeling all that good but I ran to 80 laps anyways and was beat by the end.

You might think it is easy to run on a track for 80 laps. It is completely flat after all, but it really wears on you. I also was taking my breaks a little less frequently that I am used to on a long run.

I am going to take the next few weeks to rest up a little. I would at least like to run the Disney Half Marathon somewhat fast but with the 5K and the half right before the Disney Full, I don't anticipate a fast time, in fact, I anticipate a very slow time. And with all the work on my feet the days before the Icebreaker, I think a sub 4 there is out of the questions as well. But I will go out, have fun and run the best I can.

Keep on Running!!!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Christmas Light Run

I couldn't run right after work so I had to wait until about 7:30PM to leave. So I decided to run through the close neighborhood to my house and just look at all the houses decorated with wonderful Christmas lights. I had such a blast seeing all the designed and new features I had not seen before. I ended up going 6 miles at 8:39 pace and it felt really easy since I was distracted so much.

I am sure the drivers that passed me thought I was nuts but who cares as long as they don't hit me. I was in shorts (it was a warm 39F out) and made sure I wore my bright orange reflective vest

So it was a good run today, I really enjoyed it.

Keep on Running!!!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Good News / Bad News

There was some good news and some bad news in the world of local sports here in the Milwaukee area.

First the good news. There is a local high school runner from University Lake School near Hartland, WI (about 25 miles from Milwaukee) named Molly Seidel. She just won her 4th straight State Cross Country Championship this year being only the second girl in the state to ever do so. The first was Suzy Favor Hamilton so she is is pretty good company. Just this Saturday, she won the Foot Locker National High School Cross Country Championship in California in a time of 17:22. That is pretty amazing. I haven't has a chance to see her run yet but maybe I can find a track meet this spring she will be in.

Not the bad news. Perhaps you have heard the news about Ryan Braun from the Milwaukee Brewers. He won the NL MVP award this past year leading the Brewers to the NL Central title and the playoffs. He is a real pleasure to watch. But the news is bad as he apparently tested positive for higher than normal levels of testosterone or some performance enhancing drug. It is a real shock since he didn't seem like the type to do so and even was very vocal against performance enhancing drugs. He is denying that he used drugs and says that there are extenuation circumstances that will clear his name which I really hope happens, that is if it is false. If it is true, I will have to not like him anymore.

I am against performance enhancing drugs big time. I think anyone who uses them intentionally is a cheater and really take away from those who do it legally. Suzy Favor Hamilton, whom I mentioned earlier, was screwed out of many National Championships when Regina Jacobs was using. Not only did she not win the Championships, but all the extra endorsements and prize money as well. This is why I am no fan of Barry Bonds, Marion Jones, and also Lance Armstrong.

Yeah, I know, I have heard it a hundred times, "Lance Armstrong never tested positive". Yeah, well neither did Barry Bonds or Marion Jones forever but we all knew. Lance does do some good things, that is for sure, but he is also a cheater. He 'stole' prize money and championships away from others as well.

Other good (and not exactly new) news, the UW-Whitewater football team will be playing in the Division 3 National Championship football game again this year for the 7th (YES 7) straight year. But the isn't the most amazing thing, the most amazing this is that they will be playing against Mount Union for the 7th straight year for the title. CRAZY!!! They both have 3 each the last 6 years, who will take the lead?

As far as my running, I did get in 51 laps (just over 14 miles) at the Pettit Center on Friday evening. My knee gave me trouble at about 44 laps but I finished and rested it the rest of the weekend. I plan on getting in 20 miles at Pettit next weekend. I want to get in one more long run at Pettit before the Icebreaker Indoor Marathon and with the Goof taking place 2 weeks before, I won't get another chance.

Keep on Running!!!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Miserable Out

On Saturday, I had a planned long run with Mike out by his place. We had looked on line at some maps and decided to try a new road a little off a route we sometimes take. Explore some. We mapped out a good 20 mile route and planned to meet at 6:30AM.

I woke up and it was 39F out, raining a little and windy. I contemplated calling him up and telling him I was going to Pettit to run but decided to tough it out, that and I needed to borrow his ladder so why not go down there.

Mike ran with a poncho but I decided not to. Not sure if that was a good idea or not as it was raining when we started but not hard. We ran slow and talked most of the time as he slowed to my easy pace for the run. He would go ahead of me on the up hills and I would catch him on the downs and flats. By mile 6, I was soaked all the way and even my earmuff was soaked enough that it felt like I had swimmers ear plug.

On the second half, we were less running into the wind and we picked up the pace a bit but the rain was pretty steady most of the time. It would stop for a bit but it didn't matter with how wet I was. Like I said, Mike had on a poncho but it just rattle and was noisy in the wind. I think I would have preferred to not wear one.

Somewhere around 14 or 15, Mike was ahead of me by about 50 meters or so and he yelled back to me. I looked up into the wind and while being pelted in the eyes with rain, we saw 6 deer cross the road ahead of us. I commented on how they must have been the survivors as gun deer hunting season just ended. It was cool to see them.

We ran the last couple miles without slowing down but still as wet as all run and finished with some good chocolate milk at Mike's place before putting the ladder in the van for the drive home. Yeah, it was miserable weather to run in, but it just makes me stronger so I'll take it. I am used to it so when it happens in a race, I won't be affected as much.

Sunday the first annual Girls on the Run 5K here in Milwaukee at the comfortable confines of the Pettit Center. While I didn't run it, I did take my 9 year old daughter to run. Once again, she ran awesome and crushed her 5K PR with a time of 26:40. She had a ton of fun and loved all the cheerleaders and others cheering her on every lap. It might not be too long before she is beating me so I better . . .

Keep on Running!!!