Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Taper Mode

I am in taper mode for the Madison Mini Marathon this upcoming Saturday. Last Saturday was my last long run (10 miles) and Sunday was a 17 mile bike ride. This past week I received a note from Heather, who decided to sign up for Madison this Saturday. She just made it before the race closed and we are going to try to have a blogger meet up this weekend.

I am glad that this is my last long race of the year. I put to much pressure on myself this year with hopes of being ready for a full Marathon. I just don't know if it is in the cards for me. I would sure like to put it on my bucket list, but I don't know if I can commit to what it takes to train for it, let alone run 26.2. I sure give all of you who have kudos. I guess I will be sticking with the 1/2 for a little longer and see where that takes me.

I am running this weekend with no time fame in mind and plan on running a comfortable pace so I can take in the scenery and the crowds. On my 10 miler last weekend, I ran with my wife and a friend of mine. We talked the whole time and before I knew it 10 miles were done. I enjoyed that run and would like to be able to not worry about my pace, time or anything else and just enjoy a run just like last weekend.

This has been a great summer and today was back to school for my son. I feel like I have been on vacation the whole summer, I took every Friday off, a week in July and a few other days here and there. I sure can get used to that. Next week is may last Friday off. I now have to stretch the rest of my time off (7 days) until the end of the year. Luckily we have Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years to help out.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Breaking out of the Funk

It’s been so long I don’t know where to begin.

I had a wonderful 40th B-Day party on the 9th. I celebrated by spending the evening with family and friends. My wife had dinner catered in and we had plenty of food and drink on hand. Funny thing is I don’t feel older, or even old for that matter. I am glad that I am able to run and be in the healthy condition I am. I am sure that has everything to do with how I feel. I even feel this way despite the fact that my wife plastered the lawn with fake tombstones and “Over the Hill” signs everywhere. I’ll take the good and the bad as long as I can still feel as healthy as I do at this time in my life.

I have 10 days until the Madison Mini (1/2) Marathon. I have to admit I haven’t been training as much as I should have been and I am getting a little nervous. Ever since vacation last month, I seemed to have been slacking a bit and not running the longer distances I should have to prepare for this. I do get motivation from reading a lot of wonderful blogs out there and it really seems to help, but for some reason after my 12 hours days of working/commuting, I seem drained. I know exercise gives you energy and all and I have been running just not like I should have. Lately my body has been aching more than its normal pains. I am not sure if has anything to do with running a few miles on concrete everyday to get to the paths I have near my house or worn out shoes or psychological. I changed my shoes, tried staying off the concrete as much as possible and tried to get my head out of the funk I was in. I read a great post over at Runner Dudes blog yesterday that seemed to help. So last night I started off my evening run and ended up doing 7 miles at a quick pace (quick for me). I left right after I got home from work at 6:00 and didn’t get home until 7:45. After my return and showering, I was exhausted and in bed by 9:00. During the week I don’t normally have the time to commit to these longer runs, but I just felt I needed to get the cobwebs off and needed to break out of my routine. I was sore but felt great afterwards. Today, I assumed I would be feeling a little beat up but not a bit. I hope to get out tonight for an easy three and then cut the grass. I have 10 days to get my head and body in the right place. I have come to terms that I am not going to worry about a PR and just enjoy the race as much as I can. I have a long run scheduled with a friend of mine for Saturday morning and I am off work for a 4 day weekend so I hope to get a few quality runs in preparation for the upcoming ½.

Last weekend we had some college friend visit us up in Wisconsin for the weekend. We had a great time and a friend of mine took us all out in his boat for the afternoon. We docked at a sand bar and were able to let the kids swim and enjoy the day.

Summer seems to be coming to a quick end. My son starts school next week and for me that signals the end of summer. I am ready for some cooler and less humid weather for running anyways.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Over the Hill

This past Thursday evening I ran a 5K downtown Chicago, or so I thought. The weather was perfect, but the organization of the 2009 Race Judicata sucked. Not to mention the 5K turned into a 3.41 miler. Seriously when you move the starting line you know that the rest of the course will be affected. My Garmin told me something was wrong by mile 2 when there was no split time around. The timer was much farther away as well as the water stop. The crappy part of the whole thing is that I was running my fastest 5K pace ever. The final approach was under Columbus Avenue and uphill. Unfortunately when you are pacing the finish line to be .31 miles closer, it adversely affects you. I know it was only a 5K, but this still pisses me off. Not to mention this little race cost $38 to run. You think they would have gotten it right.

I digress from my ranting. A few good things happened out of the whole thing: (1) I have a new PR for a 3.41 Miler (2) There was cold Goose Island 312 beer waiting for me at the finish line and after each one I seemed to be less annoyed about the whole thing (3) A friend of mine drove me home, so I didn’t need to worry about that aspect of the evening.

On Friday I played in a golf outing with my uncle and his buddy's. We played at Evergreen Golf course in Elkhorn Wisconsin. We had a great day, beautiful weather and didn't play to terrible either. I only play golf a handful of times a year so I was elated when I got a birdie on a par 3 hole. Of course I started to fall apart on the back nine, I am not used to swinging a club around for 4 hours. I was pretty tired after that. After golfing they cooked steaks over a large grill and had door prizes. I won a bottle of merlot and my uncle got a Tasmanian devil head cover. He gave it to me to give to my son for his clubs (he loved it).

I am approaching the colossal milestone of turning 40 this weekend. We are having some friends over at the house to help celebrate my old age. I honestly don’t feel different physically, but I do have to admit, there is a bit of a mental thing going on for me. I can’t exactly pinpoint what it is, but maybe I have to recognize I am no longer a kid and officially an adult, or should this have happened already?

I am trying to stay focused and keep up with training for my ½ at the end of the month, but my knees have been a little sore this week. I ran a few times over the weekend after the Thursday night race and my legs felt heavy and sore. I took last night off from running and took the dog out for a walk around the neighborhood instead. Maybe my body is getting ready to shut down at 40 years old. I guess I will just keep plugging along, I would feel too guilty otherwise.