Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Madsion 1/2 Marathon 2009

Madison was awesome and of course I PR’d since it was my first ½ Marathon. My official chip time was 2:04:40, which I am happy with, even though I was hoping to be closer to 2 hours. I am proud of my wife Terri who finished right behind me with a time of 2:08:40, which is incredible because this time last year she was still smoking. The course was beautiful, we ran past the University of Wisconsin, the capital building, and were able to take in beautiful lakefront scenery along Lake Menona and Lake Mendota.

I have the utmost respect and admiration for anyone of you who have run a full marathon. After experiencing the ½ I can only say you guy’s rock! What dedication that must take to complete 26.2 miles.

I started out running and Beth’s mantra kept running in my head, “start out fast lose your ass”. I tried to keep the pace between 9:30–10:00 for the first few miles. We ran with another couple, Wes & Jen. Wes and I started out running together because he wanted me to pace him for the first few miles using the Garmin. We ran together for about an hour and he took off. Wes finished just under 2 hours with 1:59:20. Jen and Terri started out together but Terri needed to hit the porta-potty shortly after we started so they parted ways early on. I was amazed that when we went through the area where the college kids lived they were passing out Bloody Marys and beer for the run. They were only filled up about a 1/3 full but of course Wes took a Bloody Mary and I opted for the beer. I am not sure if this hurt, helped or was indifferent but was something I remembered to say the least. Around mile 12 I was tiring. And again Beth’s mantra of “Shut up and run” was wailing in my brain. My feet were hurting and I just said screw it and kept going. I am still a little sore but feel good about
myself for the accomplishment. I don't know if a full marathon is in my future or even possible for me, but I am feeling the high after this race and can't wait to get back out there again.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Track Discovery

I am on my taper down starting after tonight. On Tuesday I ran an easy 5k and luckily everything was still in working order and didn't feel any pains, except for the normal old age. Last night (Wednesday) I had to take my nephew to baseball practice at his middle school and noticed a track in the distance. I went home and changed into my running gear and ran at the track while he practiced. The track is really nice because the school is only a few years old. I just found my perfect place to do speed work. I brought my nine year old son (Dante) with me. He was pissed because they had a one (1) mile run at school the other day and he didn't do as well as he would have liked (9:15). I told him he has to practice if wants to get faster. We did a fast run around the track and then a fast paced walk for a lap. I just wanted to stay loose and help him get some practice. We did this for a few miles and then I finished with another 1.5 miles by myself. I am taking Jamoosh's advice from Das Mixture and making Thursday my last real run for the week.

I want to thank everyone for all the comments and support you have provided me. I am very appreciative and happy to have discovered such a wonderful community of people out here in blog land. As I am running on Sunday, I will be thinking of you and look forward to sharing my experience with you after the race.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

8 Mile Advice

I headed everyones advice and ran 8 miles on Saturday at an easy pace of 1:15. The run felt pretty good and the foot and knee were not hurting and felt fine afterwards. I ran on the trail in Wisconsin I spoke about previously. The trail is a combination of blacktop and limestone so I think it was less impact on my body.

After getting up on Sunday, I felt like I wanted to run again, but stayed closer to home and just ran locally for 3 miles. I was a bit sluggish.

After sitting at my desk at work on Monday, my knee started to tighten up again. I can still feel a little discomfort if I move it a certain direction. Apparently it has not healed all the way. I took Monday evening off from running and just took it easy. I will attempt a 3 miler tonight just to make sure everything is in working order.

I am getting nervous and excited for Sunday. I need to make a trip to Madison on Saturday to pick up the race packets and visit the expo. There is no race day pick up but luckily Madison is only 30 minutes from our summer place so it isn’t too bad of a drive.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

I'm Back

I can happily say that my knee is good. I think I just may have hyper extended it and needed a few days rest. I ran last night for the first time since Sunday and I went for an easy 4 miler with no problems. I am anxious to get out again, but I have to go see my son 's play at school tonight after work. After the play it is poker Thursday and our beer tour continues to England tonight. Since we started the beer tour at cards our weekly number of players has steadily increased. I am anticipating 8 -9 people for tonights game.

My 1/2 marathon is rapidly approaching on the 24th and I am unsure of how I should taper down or if I need to at all. The past couple of weeks I have not run as much as normal and feel like I need to build my mileage back up again. Any advice from you seasoned pros is appreciated.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Da Coach

After I hurt my foot last week, I took most of the next week off from running. I got back out on Wednesday for 3 miles, Thursday for 3.75 miles and then again on Saturday for 6 miles. Not a high mileage week to say the least. I did have thoughts that it might be plantar fasciitis, but it started feeling better and I hopefully dodged that bullet. I think I just had some lingering affects from a twist and compounded by continued running. I appreciate the help I received from the Runner Dude with the information about plantar fasciitis.

Last Thursday, Mike Ditka, former Chicago Bears head coach, was at the grand opening of our local Binny’s liquor store. My son is a big sports fan and wanted me to take him. I picked my son up on my way home from work and we headed out. When we got there the line was about 100 people deep and some of them appeared to have been there for a while. Luckily my neighbor and his two kids were among the crowd. They were announcing that Ditka was running late, a couple hours late and luckily for me, my neighbor offered to let my son wait with him and his kids and said he would bring him home later. My son wanted to stay and I hadn’t even gone home yet so I left him with the neighbor to wait. I gave Dante my camera and a Bears football he had brought just in case he could get it autographed. A few hours later, Dante showed up back home and got his picture taken and the football signed. I am glad things worked out for Dante and I managed to get a run in.

This weekend we were quite busy. On Saturday my wife and I ran in the morning and we had a communion party to go to at 12:30. The party was at a local reception hall with lunch and a magician for the kids. The reception lasted 4 hours and I was really ready to go after that. Later that night we had a party to go to with my group of friends that I ride the train with. In between parties we had to go shopping for the cookout we were having for Mother's Day. I am glad we ran in the morning because there was no time after 12:00 to do anything else but run around.

On Mother's day we had family over for a cookout. There were 12 adults and 5 kids so we had a pretty good crowd. I know I shouldn't have done that to my wife but of course I helped out as much as possible. I hope she didn't mind to much. We had a nice afternoon and I was wrestling around with my son and nephews in the basement. I felt my knee move in a direction it wasn't supposed to and woke up in pain this morning. I just started to run again and I do something stupid and somehow tweaked my knee. I walk a few blocks to work once I get off the train and it was very stiff. As the day progresses it seems to be getting better, but not good enough to run on tonight. I seem to be trying to sabotage my half marathon race in a few weeks. I am hoping I just did something minor and I can be back to normal after a few days of rest.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Foot Injury

This weekend flew by and was way to short. The weather finally cooperated and was quite awesome. I left work early and headed North to Wisconsin on Friday and it was nice. Friday night was low key and we ended up having some friends drop by and we just visited with them for the evening.

On Saturday morning, my wife and I went for a run together. We headed out to the trail and proceeded to get a ten (10) miler in. Neither of us had been on the trail that far and we were not sure what the trail was like at that distance. We ran to the Rock River in a town called Fort Atkinson and turned around shortly after we hit that mark. Even though the trail is marked with 1 and ½ mile markers, I found that my Garmin is more accurate and that their marks are off. Anyway, we hit 5 miles and turned around for 5 more back to the car. I maintained a 9:36 pace for the run and was satisfied with effort.

After we got back and showered, we had yard work to complete. I cut grass, even though it was very wet, I had no choice since I was not going to be back for a few weeks and it was already long. I also noticed my neighbor had not been there yet this year and his grass was getting long as well and of course I cut his too. My wife raked leaves and sticks and burned them in the fire pit. I also had to get on the roof and clean out the gutters, how fun. At this point, I was pretty damn tired from all the day had to offer. I finally had a chance to sit down and enjoy a cold beer (New Glarus Spotted Cow) for all my efforts. I just sat there and enjoyed the rest of the afternoon.

After I while I started to feel a pain in my left foot. It was actually becoming painful to walk. My arch was really sore and I have never had this happen before. Unfortunately, it is two days later and I am still feeling a bit of pain, albeit not as much. Not sure what this is or what I did to cause it.

We drove home on Sunday morning so we could do more chores at home. Of course the grass needed cutting and my wife wanted me to put new mulch in around the place. I had also been eyeing a screen gazebo to put on the back deck. I never get to use my deck in the summer because of the heat and mosquitoes. With the new gazebo, I hope we get some more use of it. After returning from the store with 16 bags of mulch and the gazebo that needed to be put together we put the mulch down and it went quickly and easily. I recruited my wife and son to help with the gazebo; I needed all the extra hands I could get. After 1 ½ hours we had it together and it turned out pretty good.

I will be taking today off from running in hopes of a quick recovery from whatever I have done to myself.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Just Cutting Grass

I don’t know about where you guys live, but Chicago has had the crappiest weather lately. We have had so much rain lately that I am thinking of trading my car in for a boat.

Running has gone well so far this week:

Monday 4 miles

Tuesday cut grass because it is growing crazy from all this rain

Wednesday 4.5 miles

Thursday 3 miles

Friday rest

Saturday planning to run 10 miles

Sunday planning to bike

For last night’s poker game we continued our tour around the world of beers and choose Germany. We had a sampling of five (5) different German beers. Most were hefeweizens and one pilsner. I have enjoyed taking this tour, it is fun to discover different beers I normally wouldn’t have tried on my own. We just had a new store called Binny’s open up by us and I was like a kid in a candy shop. The only thing I didn’t take into account was that the German beers we choose had a higher alcohol content than most American brews I am used to. After consuming my sampler, I was feeling the effects of what 5.5% alcohol means. I went to bed at 11:30 while the rest of the group continued the tour without me. I actually overslept this morning and ended up taking a later train into the city.

I am going to take an early train home from work today so I can get a jump on traffic and head north to Wisconsin for the weekend. Unfortunately, I have more grass to cut up there. I hope to use my new bike rack this weekend and haul my bike with me so I can ride on the trail we discovered. I will be without internet so I will have to catch up with everything on Sunday when I get back. That is, after I cut my grass again.