Thursday, August 6, 2009

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Felt horrible yesterday…the pain of the trainer was nearly too much to handle so I ended up not running.
 
This morning I really didn't want to get out of bed but I managed to pull myself up even when my wife said she needed more sleep and was not going to run this morning.
 
Got to Kristin's house to find out that Melissa wasn't joining us either so it was just the two of us…that spells trouble for me since she is a faster runner.  She asked how far I wanted to go and I told here 5-6 so we opted to do our "regular run" - Newman to 3 mile to Emertsen - but in stead of turning on Sandy we turned on Potomac and made our way over to Newman for the run back.
 
Only a short walk at the 5k point…Kristin kept me moving and talking.  I'm grateful to her for slowing down a bit and running with me since it is always nice to catch up on the run.  We ended the day with 5 miles exactly at about a 9:09 pace.
 
The nearly full moon was in the sky, temp was around 55-60, virtually no wind, and very low humidity…what a beautiful day for a run!!
 
 

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Well the girls got me up to run again.  After 4 weeks away I knew I was going to hate today.
 
It was a struggle to be up and running but I did it.  Was able to stay ahead of my wife (which is odd) and ahead of the pain from the trainer the night before.
 
Got in 5.25 miles at about a 9:35 pace.  It was HUMID!!! But otherwise nice out, clear skies and a light breeze.
 
 

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Thursday, June 18, 2009

If I keep my head into my running the way I envision it I’ll have a good day. Get outside and boy is it humid. We run from Kristin’s to Melissa’s and the decision is made that we are going to run through Johnson’s today (which means some hills). I quickly fall behind the girls but they are faster so I let them go. I’m doing relatively well at focusing on a nice even pace.

We get out of the park and my wife decides that with the race only days away and the IT band still not 100% she is going to head back and see us there.

I keep moving following the other two girls but I’m still losing ground. I walk for a small portion of Sandy Lane only to catch my breath…that hill gets me every time! I power on and see that the girls have turned into the neighborhood at about 4.4 miles…I’d like to get in 5 so as I approach the turn I do not see them (they were about 2-3 blocks ahead of me!) but I decide that I’ll get the 5 in and that they will most likely try to find me at the ‘normal’ meeting spot. I get there and no one is there…maybe they are gabbing. I get back to the car and no one is there…they must be looking for me. I see Kristin and my wife making their way back to the house and they inform me that Melissa headed back down the route to see if I was alright!

I feel bad that Melissa ran the extra mileage, I feel insulted that they thought I’d be THAT FAR behind them, and I feel good knowing that I have a group of running companions that care that much for me. Melissa declined a ride home and she estimates she ended her day with 7-7.5 miles.

For me I ended the day with 5.25 miles in about a 9:15 pace. The day was 64 degrees, light NE wind (5 mph), and overcast.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

With the wife’s IT band acting up I had told her that she wasn’t to run today so she opted to stay in bed when I got up this morning – I thought that Kristin was going to have her ride a bike but maybe I was mistaken. :\

So I met Kristin and find out that Melissa isn’t going to make it either so Kristin and I set out…I had a rough mile and a half. I could not breathe and my legs were burning! Kristin was trying to keep her normal pace and I was trying to hang in there for a while. After a short time I bailed on her and let her go ahead. She did it twice…both times coming back to get me. We finished up the run with 4.25 miles for me in about 41 min. It was 58, no wind, and slightly overcast.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Monday, June 15, 2009

No running today, just the personal trainer. She did a great job moving us through a number of upper body exercises that just kicked my ass! 60 min workout with a warm up and cool down.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Sunday, June 14, 2009

I still do not know why I mentioned that I want to do intervals to Kristin, Melissa, and Jodie. I now have to do it!!

So here is what we did…1 mile warm up (9:22 pace)…4 x 1/2 mile speed work with ¼ mile rests (pace 7:46, 7:41, 7:41, 7:19)…1 mile cool down (9:23 pace)

Total mileage for the day 5 miles at 9:17 pace.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Saturday, June 13, 2009

The mileage for the say is 15. It is rainy, humid, and about 51 degrees at 5 AM when I meet Kristin and Rick. We start out at a decent 9:08 pace and I was able to maintain it for about 2 miles. At this point my legs felt like they were getting shorter! So I stretched and tried to catch up. I met up with them again at Kristin’s house (4.5 miles in) and then we headed back out, the long way, to meet the rest of the group. I had 10.5 miles in once I got to the group. My wife and I headed for Case’s track to put in a few laps (in honor of those we know with cancer and to remember the founding of our running group 7 years ago) but I realize shortly after getting there that I need a bathroom break. Once relieved I finish my laps and head back to the trail. A lot more walking that I should…just a bad day! 15 miles at a 10:39 pace

Friday, June 12, 2009

Friday, June 12, 2009

So if you’ve looked at the schedule to the right of these posts you probably noted that it is different than what I have been doing for the past 4 years. The NY Marathon site offered a number of training programs and seeing that this one had a few more 20 milers and a 22 I thought this would be a much better program to follow.

All that being said I have been short of my weekly mileage for the past 2 weeks and it looks like this week I will be to but I didn’t want to be 6-8 miles short just 1-2. So when my wife got up to exercise I decided that it would be best if I got out and did a few miles.

Simple out and back for a total of 4 miles at about a 9:20 pace. Sunny and cool (48) hint of a breeze 3 mph NE

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Really did not want to be up this morning. What was just as bad was that my wife didn’t either! But we were good got out of bed and drove over to Kristin’s. Found out that Jodie wasn’t going to be there so we went straight away to Melissa’s. My wife has been complaining about a bad knee so has been resting it but Kristin convinced her (very easily I might add) to run to Melissa’s. Now I always end up behind them so this was no surprise what was interesting was that they were losing me and I was at an 8:45-8:50 pace!! I thought she was having knee issues. ;^)

Once at Melissa’s we got caught up on the daily events in our lives and ended up walking a bit farther than normal before we set out running. I started my watch toward the end of the walk just to record the mileage but even that is off by about ¼.

My pace was strong for a morning I didn’t want to be out here: 9:20. When I got near Kristin’s I realized that I would be short so a little out and back and I ended the day with just over 4.5 miles. Factoring in the walking I was about at a 10 min pace…ignoring it closer to 9:15. Overcast cool (52) slight wind out of the NE 8-10 mph

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

I think that I overdid dinner last night.  I was up at 3 am not feeling well.  Sweating, nauseous, and cramping…not the thing you want to wake up to. 

Up at 4:15 got ready but still was not feeling well.  The wife and I met Kristin and Jodie.  Steph and Jodie walked…Steph is nursing a knee injury so she walked with Jodie.

I started out okay and it got worse.  The grocery store was not open so I had to hold it a while longer.  There was some pressure that after a short time passed and I was able to run again.  Even with all of that I finished the 4.1 miles in 44 min…not great but could have been much worse.  Beautiful morning…overcast, 58, with a light East wind.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Monday, June 8, 2009

It has been a few weeks but we are back on schedule with the personal trainer…for a week or two!  Anna worked us hard but it was good.  I’m glad to see that I didn’t lose too much strength while I’m away.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Sunday, June 7, 2009

In the continuing adventures to work on my speed and endurance we opted for a hill/stair workout for today.  We met Melissa and Kristin at 7:30 am in the Gateway parking lot.  The rain had not started so we might get lucky…not so much!

The plan was to charge the hill recover on the down and head for the stairs…charge the stairs…I love hills so I was off to the races!

By the time I hit the 4th hill charge the lungs were burning and I was ready to quit.  Got a drink of water after the 4th circuit and did another 2.  

When you add all the hills/stairs…1 mile warm up and 1 mile cool down we got in 4.5 miles.  The weather was cool (52) and rainy…wind (NNE 5mph)

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Saturday, June 6, 2009

My wife is looking to build her mileage so that the Lighthouse Run and the Maui Half are a little easier for her to handle.  In that vein she convinced me to forgo my 10 miler this week and do 12.  We met Melissa at 5:30 am in the Panera parking lot and started our run.  I was only able to squeak 8 miles in before meeting the group at 7 so I thought I’d be a little short but Melissa knew where to turn so that we would have just the right mileage for the day.  

My body shut down at 9 miles – I just did not want to run any more but I slogged through it with a little walking and I was able to finish the 12 miles in a 9:45 pace.  The weather for the day was cool (49) and windy (ENE 5mph)

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Again...I did not want to get up this morning but I did.  The wife and I headed to Kristin's and we waited for Jodi.  Once we had Jodi we started our run and picked up Melissa.  I felt good once I was running so when I had 4.3 miles in I knew that I needed to complete the 5 miles that I had planned to do today.

5 miles at a 9:11 pace...felt good...weather was nice, cold (43), but nice.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Did not want to get up and my watch obviously agreed since it stopped working after it went off the first time.  Wife was up and getting ready so there was no way I was getting out of it today.

Met Kristen and headed out to pick up Melissa.  Everyone was complaining about their legs feeling like lead due to the intervals on Sunday but they all left me in the dust today.

Got 4.25 miles in at a 9:10 pace.
 
 

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Some days you wonder why you opened your mouth – today was one of those days.
 
I told the group that I was going to start doing intervals on Sundays as a way of working on some speed…well our little group seemed to like the idea so sure enough we set a time and place and we all did intervals.
 
Here is what was planned:
 
1 mile warm-up
6 x 400 @ 2:00 with 2:00 rest
1 mile cool-down
 
Well best laid plans…all of the distances and quantities are correct I just messed up the timing…2:00 400’s are a 8 min/mile pace…I was doing 1:45 (7 min/mile) and the girls were doing even better…so next time I have to make it 1:45s or even 1:30s!!!!
 
Total mileage for the day was 4.33 and the pace average was 9:15.
 
Next week we are planning hills!
 
 

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Parkside!  My favorite course.  I needed 13 miles today so I’m out there at 5:30 with Kristen.  Did a nice out and back on the roads in the park while waiting for the early group to get there.  6:00 am we meet up with the early group and run a modified 5k course backwards.  Part of the group headed off to the roads and the wife and I stuck to the trails…she is going to hate me!!!  We finished things on the trail and got to the parking lot just before 7.

Talked a bit with the group and then headed back out there to finish the mileage for the day.  My wife stuck with me the whole time…she could have gone faster but the trails were kicking her butt and in the end when the mileage was kicking me she ran the extra 0.5 miles just to be sure that I got my full 13 in!!  She managed to run 10.5 miles as a training run!!!

13 miles…95% trail…9:59 pace!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Didn’t want to do this but it has become part of the ritual…2 days a week early.

Out and back…4 miles…9:50 pace…much more humid that I would have liked (92%!!)

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Back in Iowa.  Wanted to see the mall.  Nothing exciting but added some additional mileage to see it.

5 miles…9:45 pace

Monday, May 25, 2009

Monday, May 25, 2009

A small group of us decided that we would do a Memorial Day run and head up to Oak Creek for some new scenery.  We were on the Oak Leaf Trail and did a simple 10k out and back.

I struggled for the 1st 5k as I tried to stay with a much faster group initially so that I could direct them.  Averaged 9:35 on the way out.

On the way back I was with my wife and Andy and we did pretty good talking and focusing on the nice trail. Averaged 9:15 on the way back

Completed 6.2 miles with a 9:25 pace.

We will be adding this location to our regular run.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Starting the marathon buildup for Maui…10 miles today.

Met the girls early and doubled back to pick up the wife at 6:15.  

Felt the same way I did last week…no real cares and just focused on the run.

Manages to get 10 miles in at a 9:13 pace…that is better than last years Lighthouse run!!!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Thursday, May 21, 2009

I saw a sign that there were caves here in Burlington so I thought I’d try to get there…never quite made it to them but managed to make it to the park.  Should have guessed there would be hills!!!

4 miles…10:23 pace.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Still not a fan of the morning run and it is worse when I’m away from home and running by myself.

Out and back route…4 miles…9:30 pace

 

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Saturday, May 16, 2009

The wife wanted to get a few extra miles in this week and who was I not to agree.  So we were at running a bit early on Saturday to get in a few miles before meeting the group.  We maintained a decent pace not too face but not too slow.  It was tough going but running with each other made it a little easier.

Got back in time to meet the group say ‘hi’ and head right back out.

I was in a unique place mentally…no race in the near future (other than the Lighthouse) and no “long run” for a few weeks.  I was feeling good so I just went.  Seems that everyone noticed the extra spring in my step as I move out in front of the group and managed to put up a 9:19 average for my 2nd 5k of the morning.

Finished 8 miles at a 9:26 pace.

 

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Thursday, May 14, 2009

I really did not want to do this this morning.  I set all of my alarms (ask my wife how many that is when I'm away!) and turned them all off one at a time.  I finally got up at 5:15 and got dressed.  Walked out of my hotel room at 5:23.
 
The sky is already glowing and the air is cool and humid.  I start running.  I really did not want to do this.
 
It took 2.4 miles before I was feeling like this was worth it.  Turned back toward the hotel and decided that I'd get 5 miles in today.  The sun was rising and the wind was at my back.  I hit 4.7 miles when my body woke up…had to walk a bit at that point and just prayed that I made it to the hotel…was eyeing every bush in that last quarter of a mile wondering if anyone would see me if I ducked behind it.
 
I finished my 5 miles in just under a 10 min pace.
 

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Being out in Burlington, IA on an audit means that I will have to run on my own during the week.  Now you all know that I am not a morning person but the girls have been trying to get me in this habit of waking up 3 times a week to run early so I thought it best to continue to try this out even though I'm here.
 
So I got up…and hit the snooze button at least 3 times!  I feel bad for my neighbor if he/she was trying to sleep this morning.  Finally got out of bed at 5 am and got changed.  I was out the door by 5:10 and running by 5:15. 
 
Short out and back for 4.3 miles and then about a .25 mile walk around the hotel to cool down.  Maintained a 9:36 pace…not too fast nor too slow, so I'm happy.
 
Now I wish I could go back to bed…I do not see any level of caffeine keeping me awake today!
 
 

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Knew that I would not be able to get the regular run in without having to get up early this weekend since we decided to help out at the Ice Age 50 again this year.
 
So the wife and I were up and on the road by 5 am just so we could get out to Rice lake around 7 am.  Well Google maps was a little off---our nearly 2 hour drive was more like 1.25, oops!!
 
When we got there it was raining and windy.  Steph decided to not run but I cam out her to do this so I headed out.  It was 2.7 miles to the other aid station then I'd turn around and be back in time to clean up and help.
 
The rain made the trails quite muddy but that made it all the more fun.  The course was beautiful and I can not wait to run the race myself.
 
Finished the 5.4 mile run in about 58 minutes.
 
 

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Thursday, May 7, 2009

With the weather getting nicer and the sun coming up earlier there is no reason to miss a morning run…
 
Steph and I met Kristin (Melissa is still having baby issues -- and Jodie, well she is still pregnant and from what I hear staying up way late, might she be partying?!?) and began our run. 
 
Steph and Kristin struck out on a very quick pace (8:30?) and I was barely managing a 9:15 pace…had some minor issues (must have been the beer and peanuts last night) but gutted most of it out.  Got out 2 miles and the girls were waiting for me.  Turned around and headed back…did I mention that while the weather is nice the humidity was at 90%!!!
 
My goal on the way back was to keep the girls within eye sight. Worked pretty well until about 0.7 miles in a gnat got into my right eye…had to stop to clear it out.  Once out I tried to maintain that line of sight which meant having to pick up the pace.  For about half a mile I was at a sub 8:00 pace and managed to clock an 8:16 average for the last 0.9 miles.
 
Overall 4 miles this morning in 37 minutes and change…
 

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Even though we just got in last night Steph and I headed out to meet the girls (turns out that it was just the girl --Thanks Kristin!!) for our, what is becoming for me, regular run. 
 
Still a bit sore and achy but managed a respectable 3 miles at an average 9:56 pace.  The first half was slow but the second half I was cruising along.
 
 
 

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Fort Collins – A downward journey

I looked at this race almost 2 years ago and thought – this is a piece of cake! 26.2 miles and an evenly graded 1,200 foot elevation drop…Heaven!! Well not so much.

I’ve only been to Colorado as a layover point in Denver and never had the chance to leave the airport. So to actually go there sounded like fun. We flew into Denver on Friday and jumped into the rental car for the 1-1.5 hour drive to Fort Collins. On the way it was overcast and hazy so while there was a view it wasn’t much of one. I can’t say that I noticed the altitude at all.

Saturday morning the wife and I headed out for a short 2 mile run and I tried to push the last quarter mile…I could feel the altitude and the lack of much humidity in the air. I would have to be very careful tomorrow and be sure that I watched my fluid intake…nothing could be worse than not having enough!

The expo was small but it was what I’d expect for this size of a race. My wife even signed up for the 10k while I was getting my number…she figured she’d have plenty of time to do that and still get out to see me on the course.

We took some time and drove the course…beautiful! We kept an eye on the weather forecast because it was calling for snow and temps around 35 for race day…this really was not what I signed up for!

Fort Collins is a beautiful city…we got lunch in the downtown and asked the waitress for some ideas for dinner. After walking to both locations that were recommended and perusing their menus we decided on where dinner would be and made reservations (we were not going to have a repeat of Little Rock today!!)

Early night since the bus that would take me to the starting line leaves at 4:00 am…still looking at the weather and snow is still in the forecast…not good…didn’t bring a long sleeve shirt…Damn!

Got up and did my usual ritual…forecast had changed…45-55 degrees, showers early and clearing up high for the day 60…current temp 39. Why did I forget to bring a long sleeve shirt!!! Luckily I brought a garbage bag…not real warm but would keep the body heat in.

Was on the first bus leaving the hotel…bad idea…the driver informed us as we were on the way that he would not be able to wait with us at the starting line but would need to drop us off…once again cursing myself for not having a long sleeve shirt. As we drove I noticed that the clouds were dissipating. When we got to the starting line there wasn’t a cloud in the sky…no moon…but the stars were amazing! At times like this I wish I would carry my camera.

As we waited for the gun I spent some time looking around, the valley we were in had a river that we would follow all of the way into Fort Collins…it would be my companion for the journey. The water was crystal clear and cold! I watched the sky change colors as the sun rose, even though we could not see it actually rise due to the mountains; the change in the sky was tremendous! I looked to the tops of the peaks right near us (only about 500-600 feet above us) and could see snow. Simply breathtaking.

The gun went off right at 6 am and all 1,000 marathoners took off toward Fort Collins. It was relatively easy to keep an even pace at the beginning. The air was cool the surroundings were gorgeous and the people were talkative but not overly so. The course follows the river so there is always a turn coming up and you do not get to see more than a quarter mile of road at a time.

I held my pace pretty even, just under a 10 min pace for the first 6 miles. Took my scheduled gel and kept moving. The aid stations were positioned about every 2-3 miles so I had a water bottle with me the whole race this helped to ensure that the gel was taken when needed and not when the aid station was there.

At about mile 7 I caught up with a woman who was running her first marathon and we chatted for the next 30 minutes. It was lovely to talk with someone on the course but as we talked our pace slowly picked up to a point that I wished her well and told her to have a great race at mile 10.5. Talking while running is great but I still have not figured out how to control my pace enough so that I do not crap out near the end. I’ll keep working on it because I enjoy the commiseration!

Mile 12. Second gel of the day. I was able to get the gel into my mouth and that was as far as it was going. I nearly threw up right then. The feeling was absolutely overwhelming. I choked a little down and at the next station took in some sports drink…which had the same reaction when it hit the throat! This is not good. To make matters worse within 100 yards of this I suddenly needed a restroom. Thankfully the half marathon starting line was coming up and there was a bunch of porta-potties.

10 minutes after stopping I was trying to get moving again. Much harder that I thought. I was moving in a forward direction so I was happy.

About mile 16 we leave the valley and the space opens before us. This means I will see my wife in about 1-1.5 miles. I’m not on target at all. I’ve now not been able to take any real sustenance in about 10 miles. I still keep trying to take in sports drink…heavily diluted with water in hopes that it will help. I see my wife and tell her my pains…she tells me to keep moving and work on running some…push through it…I’ve been here before…keep trying to take the gels when you should. She gave me a kiss and said she’d see me at about mile 22.

People cheering along the course.

There was more walking than running but I kept doing the 5 min run/5 min walk…whenever I could. The largest hill was at mile 18, I got to the top and was able to take a little sports drink and about a mile later I tried to take another gel. Got half of it in…gagged on the rest.

At this point we are in the ‘suburbs’ of Fort Collins. We run around a school and pick up the river as a companion again…this time it will be with us until the end. The trail around the school is a paved bike trail that leads us into the city. From park to park we go following the power lines into the city (or is it out of the city – who knows?)

Mile 22 my wife is there as promised. I get some sports drink and give her my water bottle – I think I can make it in from here without it. She tells me that I really need to run some so that I’m not disappointed when I finish…’Leave it out on the course is what you always say – so do that leave it out here.’ She points out later that she does listen to me.

I really tried but I’ve now gone too long with out any real calories and I’m dragging. The trail is quite boring for about 2-3 miles as we are running under the power lines near the river (could not really see it from the trail all of the time) and through fields after fields. Unlike the valley, here you can see about a mile ahead.

I was glad to see the 25 mile marker knowing that the misery was nearly over. I see my wife waiting for me at mile 26 and she runs with me (walks too when I need) all the way in. I get my medal and poster. Find my wife. Find oranges. Gag. Suck on the orange. Gag. Swallow the fresh juice. Gag. Repeat the last 4 items 4-5 times.

Wife takes a picture:

Find the beer…I know there is beer here…have a glass…okay about 3 sips. Now you know how bad it is if I can’t drink beer!!!

I stretched a bit while the wife goes and gets some ice cream...we sit and enjoy the day a bit.

I finished The Colorado Marathon (aka Fort Collins Marathon) in 5:25:24.

My wife finished the 10k in 56:25 (clock time) – her actual time is better!

Now that we’ve had some time to think the race over the altitude is what got to me. Not training at the higher elevation my body was supplying oxygen to my muscles and did not want to expend any energy on digestion.

Next marathon is in Maui…elevation right near sea level…shouldn't have any of that trouble!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

April 29,2009

Since this is the first time using the email system for blogger I'll keep this one short.  Stephanie and I met up with Kristin this morning and did the usual loop.  Melissa must have had a rough night with Evan since we did not see her this morning.
 
I maintained a decent pace but Steph and Kristin (led by Carol's dog, Chester) were really hoofing it this morning.  I averaged just under a 10 min pace…4 days 'til race day!
 
 

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Little Rock, AR

For every marathon I choose there is a valid reason for the run. This one was chosen because they say that they offer the largest medal of all of the marathons…you know something…they’re right…but that isn’t the end of the story.

I determined that I would run the Little Rock marathon sometime in 4th quarter 2008 when I was putting together the running schedule. September is booked, HI, and I thought that 2 would be easy to squeeze in before September so I chose Little Rock due to its timing and that they tout the largest medal.

There are times when you look at an elevation chart and say “that’s nothing” and then there are times you look at it and say “what the hell was I thinking!” This race is somewhere in between.

I ended up getting scheduled to work in Vancouver, WA for the 4 weeks prior to this race so I was traveling every weekend back and forth from the West coast and came back Thursday night so that I could catch my Friday afternoon flight to Little Rock. To say that I was tired of flying was an understatement but it had to be done.

We got to Little Rock on Friday night and ate in the hotel. On Saturday we ventured out to a nice coffee house and then to the expo. The size of the expo was not that big but not too small either. Both my wife and I ended up with new jackets for spring and magnets for our cars. The packet pick up was well organized and everyone was very helpful.

After the expo we decided to drive the course…well as much of it as we could…there are a lot of one ways in Little Rock and they had us running down a few of them the opposite direction so we had to improvise. They had us doing a lot of turns on the course and I thought that was a great idea since I really hate those long one direction as far as they eye can see courses.

With that done we headed back to the hotel for some relaxation…and I should have thought about dinner then!!! When we finally thought about dinner everyplace that we headed to or called had a very long waiting time…duh! Night before a marathon, Saturday night and a large city…what were we thinking!

I spotted a hole in the wall pizza place and said if we didn’t find anyplace else we would come back…we ended up here at 8 pm. The calzone was fantastic and so was the homemade beer! Off to bed.

From the hotel to the starting line was about .3 miles so I opted to walk it in the morning. There was a buzz in the hotel and on the streets that you only see on race mornings.

Got to the starting line way too soon…thankfully porta-potties were plentiful and the conversation with strangers pleasant. Soon we were hearing the star spangled banner and the gun wasn’t far behind.

Oh what fun the beginning of this race was…I go to pee on the Clinton Library lawn!! Okay not really but I did use a porta-potty right on the lawn.

About 3 miles in to the run we headed under a small overpass and my GPS went a little nuts…I somehow gained nearly 2 miles in just under 100 feet! That made for a really great 5k though at about a 5:15 pace LOL!!!!

As I approached the hotel I knew that I’d get to see my wife waiting for me and I told her the going was okay so far…cool but still very humid. I was on target for a sub 5 hr marathon and feeling fine.

It was nice course. The people were terrific on the course while not a lot of spectators the volunteers were beyond any that I have found anywhere so far. I was running with the 4:30 pace group for awhile and about mile 12 when I took my gel they pulled ahead and I didn’t see them again.

The half way point was at the footsteps of the capital building…very cool site to see.

Here is where the trouble begins. At mile 13.5 the uphill climb begins. It continues until around mile 16 and the elevation reverses. Now don’t get me wrong the climb is not horrible. We are not talking a 5% grade for 2.5 miles we are talking a 1-2% grade for 2.5-3 miles it felt fine to me…or so I thought. At mile 16.5 we start downhill…the entire climb that took 2.5-3 miles we do in about 1 mile…talk about a kick in the teeth. By the time I hit the bottom of this hill my legs were shot and now I needed a porta-potty!

At mile 18 I stopped to use the facilities…combine the brutal attack that had just occurred on my legs and then the sudden need to stop running my legs were done. There was little that I could do now to get them moving again.

The out and back portion of this course was very scenic and it was nice to see all of the supporters on this portion of the course. My wife was there and really wanted me to run…I tried and I tried but there was nothing left. The legs were tightening up and all of the stretching wasn’t doing a thing to stop it. She waited for me to come back from the out and told me to try to run and that she’d see me at the end.

Well let me just tell you that the people that drew up this course were sadistic. As if the sharp elevation decline after the gradual incline wasn’t enough they have 2, not 1, two steep uphill climbs at mile 24.5 and 25!!!

After that I was glad that there was a “beer stop” at mile 25.5!!! Some kind people set up their own aid station complete with beer, soda, water and sport drink. I made my way to the finish line not even trying to run at the end. Finished in 5:12:31. Collected my goodie bag – great way to do it – all of your post race snacks in a plastic bag, collected my medal, and headed for the bathroom!!

I was hurting at the end of this race…very tight leg muscles that really wanted to cramp. But what I got out of it was a good race. The people working this race were by far the best I have ever encountered.

I always ask myself would I recommend this race and why. This race is a definite, yes! You do this race if you like a relatively small race with 5-10k runners. You do this race for the most friendly and helpful aid stations. You do this race for the medal!!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

January 14, 2009

Tonight was personal trainer night. We got there and we had to decide if we wanted to be weighed and measured...OH BOY!!! I'm up almost 10 pounds since my lowest weigh-in with her and my measurements were also up a bit.

Christmas is over time to step it up again!!!

We did 5 min. of the bike and then got into arms, sholders, back and core. it was a tough work out but she has been meaner in the past.

Overall it was a good work out and I doubt I'll be too sore in the next day or two.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Wife was set on going to the Y today. I wasn’t that excited since I was still sore from running in the snow the day before but I acquiesced and we went down there after lunch.

On the treadmill: walked for 5 min (15min/mile pace) at a 2% grade – Ran for 5 min (8:19 min/mile pace) at a 2% grade – Walked for 5 min (15min/mile pace) at a 2% grade

Then we did weights for about 30-40 minutes (2 shoulder press, leg curls & extensions, leg and back press, row and pull downs) then stretched.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Got up to meet a few of the early runners since I had to do 11 miles today and was greeted with what appeared to be about 4 inches of snow and it was still falling – this ought to be fun!

Heading for Panera and realized that the plows had not been out yet. So glad that I opted to bring my Yaktrax for their maiden voyage.

When I got there I was alone but within minutes three, then four cars pull up. We all get out and decide that coffee would be better…dream on…we hit the roads. Just before we take off I opt to grab my sunglasses…it was not sunny, in fact it was quite dark but the wind was hard and blowing snow from the NNE so I thought they would help…they did.

Shortly after we start I realize that I’m out in the lead and that Carrie is right behind me…no one else is anywhere near. That’s odd?!?! I never thought about the Yaktrax so I kept moving. Carrie passed me about 1-1.5 miles in as I walked across a street but that was all that I saw. I kept pace with Carrie the whole time…getting close then letting her go…I’m not sure if her pace was ebbing or mine was.

When I got back to the group I had 5.8 miles in and just needed an additional 5.2 for the day. We headed out exactly like we did at 6 am just with a few additional runners and no glasses this time. Again I got the early lead and kept it…the Yaktrax were doing their job. I opted to cut down Sandy lane and from what I found out later so did everyone else –BIG Mistake – the snow had not been plowed in a day and there was easily a foot of it on the road making for a very difficult time.

With about a mile or so to go the fastest runner in the group that morning, Joe, just blows by me. Says I’m doing a great job and keeps going – DAMN that boy is fast…even in this weather!!!

I finish the day with 10.6 miles and a 9:49 average pace. Not bad considering the conditions out there!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Since this is a busy week for me and my wife it made sense to head to the gym on the only evening off we both have all week.

We did 10 minutes on the elliptical (8 forward and 2 back) and then spent about 30 minutes doing weights and core. Dips, chin-ups, legs, roman chair, curls, lunges, and hamstring curls.

I didn’t want to do any of it but I did it and am grateful for it…I only whish that these people at the Y would break their resolutions quickly so it isn’t so damn crowded!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Saturday, January 3, 2009

5 am is not a good time for me and I’m quite sure that it is worse for the rest of the house! I get up and get all my stuff on…it is cold outside!! Thankfully it’s not too cold and I can get away with just a winter hat.

I get to the meeting place early and head out…I get about 1.8 miles in and I wait for the girls to arrive. Jodi and Kristin are already running and Carrie arrives while I’m waiting.

Once we are all assembled we head out for about a 50-60 minute run. I start out with the girls but quickly realize that the runs I had done earlier in the week are catching up wit me and I will not be able to maintain this pace for the duration of my run so I back off slightly.

We get about 1.5 miles out and we get a clear path to the East and the wind hits us!!!! BOY IS THAT STRONG!!! We push through it both going out and coming back…we’ll tell the group to run north and avoid any place that is open to the East!

We get back to the waiting group (kinda small this week) and we talk about where we are heading and where coffee is at. I drink some Gatorade and water and we head out. My mileage for the day was 15 but I figured 13 would be good but by 9 I was just simply tapped out. I could not figure out the problem.

I begin my typical walk and run pattern but I should not be having this difficulty at 9 miles so I’m at a loss. About 1.5 miles later it dawns on me…I’ve been running for more than an hour and I never took a gel.

I have gotten so accustomed to taking the gel that I’m surprised that I forgot. Well I won’t make that mistake again…I hope.

I finished the day with about 12.6 miles…I’ll update the exact mileage and time later.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Thursday, January 1, 2009

The running group was up and at it by 8 a.m. We met at Greg’s house and we went out for a nice 5-6 mile run.

I ran with Kristin the whole time and she kept me moving! We managed to get in 5.5 miles in 48:50.

The wind was blowing and the temps were low but the run was a great time.

We capped off the run with some good food and coffee…Thanks to Greg and his family!!

2009

Well here I am…looking forward to 2009 and looking back at what I’ve done in 2008. I know that I got lazy on this blog but I’m going to do my best to keep it up to date in 2009.