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!