Sunday, November 14, 2010

Tyranena 1/2 Marathon

I made the 2 hour drive with my wife Terri and friend Billy on Saturday morning. It was cold but the sun was shinning & I was feeling good. They had a large tent set up with tables so after the race you could get out of the cold. After we picked up our race packets and walked around a bit it was time to go to the starting line. It was a small race with only 1,500 runners.

We started out and I was running with Billy. We hit the first mile at 8:45, which was fast for me considering I had 12.1 to go. We kept the pace going and started to hit some pretty good hills. I slowly climbed uphill and ran like hell down. We paced between 9:10 to 8:45 for the first 6 miles. After the 6th mile Billy started to kick it up and I was running solo. Somehow I managed to keep the pace going for my first sub 2 hour 1/2 marathon. I finished with 1:58:46. I have come close but never broke the 2 hour barrier before. Needless to say I was very excited. Billy finished at 1:53 and Terri 2:07. A PR for both Billy and myself. Terri was only seconds off of her PR as well.

After the run we went inside for a lasagna lunch and to sample some Tyranena beers. We had sampled a porter which was great, a pale ale, amber alt and a honey blonde.

After we ate and had our sampling we went inside for a tour.

All in all a great race. I will be back next year for sure.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Crazy Summer

I wonder if anyone is still out here since I have disappeared from blogging. I'm not sure where to begin. I have been busy running and with life all summer. I did run and complete my first marathon on May 30th and ran a second marathon on September 17th. In addition I ran 2 half marathons, five 5k's and a 10k. I have another 1/2 marathon next weekend in Lake Mills, Wisconsin at the Tyranena Brewery. That will conclude my racing schedule for the year unless I find a Turkey trot or something else presents itself.

I have to say my first marathon experience was a bit brutal. It was the Madison Marathon and the weather was not my friend. I did struggle and had to walk towards the end. I did finish, but not with a time I was happy with 4:57. Since I had trained and was in decent shape, I decided to try another one to redeem myself. I found an inaugural run in St Charles,Illinois called the Fox Valley Marathon. This was the best supported race I have ever seen. There was aid stations at every mile and just a well thought out and put together race. I struggled a bit with knee pain after mile 20 and ran walked the rest of the way in. I think I went out to fast and that hurt me later in the run. I hit the 1/2 marathon point at 2:01 and that was a PR for me. I have not run a 1/2 that fast before.Nonetheless, I finished with a time of 4:38. I will definitely run this event next year, weather it's the 1/2 or full I'm not sure yet. I have to say I have never been so proud of myself when I crossed the finish line at these races. It was the hardest thin I have ever done, but I feel so accomplished.

I certainly have tons of respect to all of you marathon runners out there. It isn't easy and I know what kind of effort goes into it.

I have been reading about everyone's efforts and endeavors, even if I don't comment. Finding time has been my biggest problem. I have not been a very good friend and for that I apologize.

Now that summer is over, I have closed my place in Wisconsin for the winter. That means more projects at home. I am currently redoing the master bathroom. New mirrors, toilet, vanity, tile and ripping out the tub for a big shower. I am actually procrastinating the demo by typing right now.

I will continue reading all your posts and I thank those who have reached out to me over the past months. I hope to be able to get back and post more often.

Happy running!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Wisconsin 1/2 Marathon

Fist off I want to apologize for not being around to support you who have been there for me in the past. I have been extremely busy, but am not making any excuses. A new firewall went up at work and I can’t access anything related to Blogs there. Not that I only did this at work, but with training and my train commute, I am really short on time lately. I also have a friend who is going through a divorce and we had opened our home up to him for the past few weeks until he could find a place for himself. I need to get a new smart phone so I can use my time on the train to catch up with everyone. I promise to be better, please don’t be mad at me.

Marathon training has been going well, with the exception of a self diagnosis of foot/toe pain I have been experiencing. I think I may have Morton’s Neuroma. It is a painful shooting pain that feels like electrical impulses shooting through my toes and often feels like a tingling sensation. After the marathon, I need to have this checked out and diagnosed by my doctor for sure. In the mean time, I loosened my laces in the toe box and am hoping for the best.

This past Saturday I ran the Wisconsin ½ Marathon in Kenosha. I was hoping for a sub 2:00 time but it wasn’t in the cards this time. I am proud to say I finished officially with 2:02:16. I ran with a running buddy of mine, Billy, who ran his first ½ marathon. He has been training with my wife and I over the past months and we talked him into running the Madison Marathon with us since he was doing all the training runs anyway. He did very well and finished with 1:57:34. The course itself was a little rough on some of the roads and I don’t think I have seen so many potholes ever. It made a great obstacle course trying to avoid the bigger ruts and not get injured. The weather was a little warm and pretty humid for this time of year. The wind coming of Lake Michigan helped cool things down but also caused another challenge.

One of the highlights of the race was that I got the chance to meet Kim and her husband Steven. They both live pretty close to me in the suburbs and ironically we both work in downtown Chicago. It was really great to meet them both. Kim had a rough go at the race, but she pulled through and ended up doing great!

I have a 20 mile training run this weekend and then I am in taper mode. This week I will end up running 40 miles. I call this hell week, but am keeping my eye on the big picture. I know this will help me get used to the pounding it will take for the full marathon in Madison on May 30th.

Again, I truly am appreciative for all your comments and support. I promise to be better at reciprocating.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

I'm Still here

I think work and training has gotten the better of me lately. I have fallen of the face of the earth. I have found it difficult to keep up with everything lately. I suppose I need to get better at time management.

It has been a while and I am unsure of where to begin. On Saturday the 3rd, Terri and I went to see Michael Buble. I purchased the tickets a while back and was pleasantly surprised to have such fantastic seats. We were in the front row off to the side. It was great concert and a welcome relieve from training.

The past two weekends have been my longest runs to date. I now have 2 new distance PR’s (15 and 16 miles). The 15 miler was hard, but it was cool and raining the whole run. Last Saturday’s 16 mile run was sunny and a bit warmer which turned out to be brutal for me. I had been experiencing some toe pain and when we stopped for a break to use the porapotty at the park, I took my shoes off to stretch my toes out. I was getting an intense pain and not sure why. It seemed that they were cramping, but when I stretched them out the pain went away.

The 16 miler started to go downhill around 10 miles when the guys I was running with decided to pick up the pace and Terri and I were continuing on the same pace as we had started with. When we started to run as a group we said we were going to stick to a certain pace.However, after 10 miles into the run two of my group decided to slowly kick it up and after a while they had gotten so far ahead that were not even in site. Anyway, I was a little perturbed that they just took off without asking if we would be ok. My wife runs with music and therefore doesn’t talk while we run. To me, talking helps make the time pass by much faster and I don’t even think about it. After they took off, I was a little ticked and I started to feel negativity take over my thoughts. I thought if we were running in a group and we agreed upon a pace, we should stick together. At this point, I was thinking I would have better off if I had run this alone, because I wouldn’t have the negativity creep into my head. The negativity really threw me off my game. Maybe I am wrong and this is normal in group running. If so, I need to accept this and not let it bother me. I am hoping you guys can enlighten me on the acceptable etiquette for this type of training.

Around mile 13 I had to stop and stretch my toes again and I motioned Terri to keep going. I was only stopped for about 30 seconds and was back at it. I could still see Terri and she was looking back to see that I was there. We got to mile 13 and there were the other 2 guys waiting for us at the park. I was still upset and just kept running past them. I also had run out of fluids at this point and was starting to tank quickly. I was short with my responses to their questions and didn’t feel like conversing. The more I went on the more sporadic the pain seemed to shoot into my toes. We soon were all split up again, but this time, it was my own doing since I was not keeping the pace. I didn’t expect anyone to wait, if I wasn’t keeping up. I still had Terri in my sight and followed her since we had not planned an official course. We all had GPS watches and knew when we hit 16 miles so it wasn’t necessary for a course. I got back to my house, where we all met and there everyone was waiting.

I decided not to say anything and let it go. Terri took a quick shower and then made pancakes for all of us. These are good friends and I did not want to cause a scene. For all I know, I may be the one who is in the wrong with my thinking.

Sunday we ran a local 5k race (Run Thru the Hills) in our town. One of my training partners, 2 of my poker buddies, Terri and my son Dante ran as well. I came in 6th place out of my age division but was pretty tired from the 16 miles the day before. It was no PR but I was ok with 26:35.

This week we scale the mileage back a bit and the long run is 12 miles. I never thought I would be relived for a 12 mile run, thinking that was a break.

Thursday evening after our 5 miler, Terri and I are off to an Elton John concert. I was planning on taking Friday off and making a late night of it, but I have a meeting at work I have to be at.

I hope I figure out or get passed my toe issues, but training is going pretty good despite my rough run last Saturday.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

A Day late and Dollar Short

I have such trouble keeping up with posting lately. Between work, running, maintaining the house and reading everyone else’s wonderful stories and anecdotes, I seem to be running out of time. Oh well, I can only do so much.

Last weekend, the Chicago area was blessed with a round of more snow. Enough snow to keep me running my 13 miler in the gym again last Saturday. I managed 7 miles on the treadmill then jumped on the indoor track for 3 miles (27 loops) and back onto another treadmill to finish with a 3 miler. I think it helped break the run up by jumping around, but I would rather have been running outside. The good news is that the weather has warmed up and there is not a trace of snow left in site.

Saturday evening Terri and I had dinner plans with some friends and had people over at our house later in the evening. I was a little worn out from the run and cleaning the house afterwards that I ended up falling asleep pretty early Saturday night. I left Terri to entertain our guests while I was sound asleep. Luckily she didn’t say a word to me and hopefully understood I was just wiped out. I also had a few glasses of New Glarus Stone Soup, but that had nothing to do with it, I swear.

Sunday morning Terri and I were pretty tired and we did not do any cross training at the gym as Hal Higdon said was on our schedule. Instead we swapped our rest day with Monday. On Monday evening after work we both headed to the gym and I lifted and rode the bike while Terri did the elliptical and bike.

Tuesday was quite nice when I got home from work and the temps were in the low 60’s. I ran my 3 miler in shorts and a short sleeved shirt. Amazing that just a few days prior it was snowing like crazy. I know I shouldn’t be shocked and this happens every spring but I am so ready for winter to go away. Tonight I have a 7 mile run scheduled and tomorrow a 4 miler. We are also on a taper week and only running 10 miles on Saturday. I think my legs are going to appreciate the break.

Earlier this week, I was talking to a few of my friends who signed up for the Chicago Marathon, scheduled this fall on 10-10-10. I was actually contemplating running this with them, even though I haven’t even completed my first one yet. I knew that the race would fill up fast and I needed to decide soon to secure a spot, but it closed yesterday. I know there are charity spots available but I would have rather just paid my entry fee and trained by myself. I was a little disappointed because it would have been nice to run in Chicago, but I kind of think I need to get one marathon under my belt before I think about running a second. I guess if I still have the bug, I could search for another fall marathon, but I was kind of looking forward to running Chicago. Maybe it’s for the best and I should focus on my current goal before I go looking for trouble elsewhere.

I hope everyone has a splendid week of running!!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

12 Miles, Sushi and New Glarus

I ended up having to run my 12 miler indoors on Saturday. The weather was to crappy and I didn't feel like going outside in the rain and cold. I know it rains and can be cold on race day, but I just wasn't feeling up to it. My wife came to the gym with me and I used one of the 6 guest passes they gave me. Family hours at the gym weren't until later in the day and I wanted to run in the morning so I had to use the pass.

I ran 6 miles on the first treadmill with no problem. The machine only would allow you to run one hour before shutting off so I moved to another location in the gym for a change of scenery. I ran 3 miles on the different treadmill and the last 3 on the track. It was actually nice to break things up and it didn't seem to bad. My wife did 6 on the treadmill and 6 on the track. It is 9 laps for a mile and I didn't feel like making 54 turns around the oval.

After our run, we went home and Terri jumped on the computer to see if she could get Elton John tickets that went on sale earlier that morning. We actually were able to get 2 tickets that weren't too expensive and decent seats. So we are going to Michael Buble in 2 weeks and Elton John next month.

Staurday evening Terri and I headed out to some friends for a party. It was a wine & sushi party. They did it to raise money and/or donations for their local food bank in their town (Wacounda). They have had this party for the past few years and I think it is an awesome concept. They are very generous to host this every year. I actually tried sushi for the first time ever. I do like fish, but didn't think I would like sushi. I liked the spicy tuna roll and the sashimi. They also had other items besides sushi and they had other things to drink besides wine but I wanted to try it anyway. I was the designated driver this time so I had one glass of wine for the evening.

I have previously mentioned that my friend, Jeff lent me his snow blower earlier this year. We actually made a swap. I made him oak window cornices and he gave me the snow blower. Sunday morning after waking up an hour later, due to the time change, I headed out to his house to install them for him. After the installation we went to lunch and I had a couple of Boddington's and a burger. Jeff lives near the Wisconsin border in a town called Rockford and since I was that close, I headed up to Madison after lunch for a new 1/2 barrel of New Glarus beer. I was hoping to get the newest brew, Moon Man, but they did not have it in 1/2 barrels. I ended up taking home Stone Soup. By the time this runs out, they will be brewing one of my other seasonal favorites, Totally Naked for the next keg. I loaded up on a few other New Glarus product and made my way back to Illinois. After the beer run, I went home, picked up my wife and son and we went to the gym for family hours. I lifted weights, Terri rode the bike and Dante played basketball and ran a few laps on the track. Afterwards we all went swimming in the pool and Dante played on the indoor water slide.

Last night I came home from work and was feeling the onset of a little cold. I went to bed earl;y to get some extra rest and today at work, I was taking daytime cold medicine. Luckily I only have a 3 miler to run tonight and I plan on getting to bed early again for some rest. I think I just have been running myself around so much and not resting.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Almost no Bull!

I had a nice dinner last Friday with my fellow Alumni and professors from my college (EIU). It was starting to get late and I needed to head out to catch the 10:30 train. I said my goodbyes and promised to visit the campus soon, when one of the professors approached me and asked if I liked basketball. I said sure and didn’t know why he would ask, but he then asked if I would like tickets to the Chicago Bulls game to take my son to for that Saturday night. I said thanks and told him my son will be thrilled. I called Dante on my walk to the train and told him about the game and pulled out the tickets to give him the seats location so he could look it up online to see where they were located. I put the tickets in my coat pocket and looked at my watch and realized I needed to hustle to get to the train on time. I arrived at the station with about ten minutes to spare and felt in my pocket and the tickets were gone. I had a few options at this point, get on the train and forget about it, retrace my steps in the hopes of finding them and miss my train or run like hell to try and find them and try and catch the 10:30 train. I chose the latter option and ended up running three blocks to discover the tickets sitting on the sidewalk. I was incredibly lucky that they were still there. Now I just needed to make it back to the station before the train took off otherwise it was another hour wait for the next one. I sprinted back with everything I had and run up the stairs into the station and onto the platform. I just made it before the doors closed and grabbed a seat. I was all gross and sweaty and I am sure looked like hell, but I made the train and had the tickets securely in my pocket this time.

The next morning I had a seven mile run and I was still a little sore from sprinting in dress shoes the night before. I managed the seven alright but it wasn’t my best run by any means. After the run I had an appointment to go to speak with my Dr. about my recent blood test. I was the last patient of the day and the doctor was very casual and took all the time answering questions that I needed. That was a welcome change. My doc told me that the cholesterol medicine was not causing my increase in the kidney BUN test, but asked if I was taking a supplement with Creatinine in it. I said no, but told him I was training for the marathon possibly running more and that I joined the gym and had started lifting weights. He thinks that could be the cause for the extra creatinine in my blood but wants me to take another blood test to be sure. I can’t work out for three days and need to have a blood draw to see the level. I worked it out with a morning run 2 rest days and then an afternoon run so I only am missing a cross training day. I also asked if I could stop taking the expensive non-generic medicine (Zetia). He said it was not the reason my numbers went down and told me to stop taking it. I was thrilled as this will save big $$$. I have my fingers crossed that the extra muscle building is the cause for the increased creatinine.

After the doctor, I had my son’s All Star basketball game and then we went to dinner and into the city for the Bulls game. After finding reasonable parking accommodations of $18, we walked to the United Center. We found our seals, first row in the club level and sat down. Down on the floor in front of us was Lovey Smith (head coach of the Chicago Bears) and the three new players they just drafted. My son was in sports heaven. The Bulls lost to the Mavericks, but we had a great time nonetheless. It was a nice way to spend the evening bonding with my son. Dante is 10 years old & I know these days are numbered.

Sunday I did taxes and afterward Terri, Dante & I all headed to the gym. I did a little lifting and biking, Terri biked and used the elliptical and Dante ran 2 miles on the track. Afterward we headed to the pool to relax. It was a busy weekend, but I enjoyed it.

Last night the weather was unseasonably warm (45 degrees) when I got home and I decided to run outside. I grabbed a flash light, put on shorts and headed out. I ran a quick 3 miler and then back home for dinner. I have 6 miles to complete tonight and I hope the rain stays away long enough for another outdoor run. I really miss running in shorts outside.

We are up to a 12 mile run for this Saturday’s training run. I haven’t run that distance since the last ½ marathon I did back in August. I am sure it will be fine.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Holy Cholesterol!

I went for my blood test last Saturday before my ten mile run. On Tuesday, I called the doctor because I had not heard anything yet. They said they did not get my results but would check into things and get back to me. I was surprised when they actually did what they said they were going to do and got back to me the same day. I was prepared for them to tell me that there was no real change and that the past 2 months of nonexistent limited alcohol and caffeine did no good. That wasn’t the case and I was pleasantly surprised for the nurse to say, everything looks fine. I said hold on a minute; I have been trying different combinations and doses of medicine to get my numbers down for years and everything is fine. What does fine constitute, I asked. The numbers are:

(Insert drum roll)


HDL 38 (HDL above 60 is optimal)

LDL 64 (LDL below 100 is optimal)

Total Cholesterol 131 (Less than 200 desirable)

Triglycerides 144 (Below 150 is normal)

Kidney Function 21 (normal range is 10-20)

Needless to say, I was ecstatic to find this news out. The cardiologist told me there is no reason to come back here and call my regular Dr. to go over the results. I feel like a huge weight has been lifted from me. I certainly now realize that I will have to consume alcohol in moderation, compared to my use prior to this test. That will be to be the most difficult thing, since I do love beer. I can live with cutting the caffeine down. Lack of caffeine didn’t seem to bother me so much. While my results may not compare that great to some of you, for me it is a tremendous improvement. My last testing, I believe my cholesterol was at 255. I never realized what an impact that alcohol and caffeine can have on this. As far as the kidney function being elevated, I read that it can be due to a high protein diet and further read that the cholesterol medicines can breakdown skeletal muscle tissue which can affect the kidney. Of course, I am consuming a high protein diet and I need to talk with my doctor further to discuss minimizing some of these medicines. I think my genetic make up may also play a role in the low HDL number. But the overall cholesterol is good and the ratio is more important than just the HDL number. These numbers are with me on medication. I am taking Zocor and Zetia for cholesterol and Toprol-XL for high blood pressure. My blood pressure has been in check for years with the medication and exercise.

Back in college I was economics major. Every year, the Economics Dept. from my Alma matter (Eastern Illinois University) brings ten students to Chicago for the weekend. They take a tour of the Federal Reserve Bank and other cool things in the city. This Friday, the alumni in the area get together with the group of students and professors for drinks and dinner in Chicago. It is a nice way to meet the students and reminisce of old times and catch up with old friends. I was fortunate enough to develop friendships with two of my professors and when they make the trip, I always try to attend. This year they have asked me and a few others to be mentors to the existing students. I am honored and have offered to help out in any capacity I can. In years past, I have always stayed with my professors at the hotel so I could take in the night life after dinner. This year, I will be taking a late train home and running in the morning. These are some of the lifestyle modifications I will need to get used to.

Sorry for the long winded post. I hope everyone has a great weekend and good running.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Ten Miles and Some Tile

I signed up at the gym Friday evening after work. My son, Dante went with me. After I paid for the first month, they took my photo and gave me an ID an we were set. The cool thing about this gym is that they have Family Hours, even though the membership is for me only, you can bring family members with at certain times to use a segment of the facilities. Each day the schedule is different. Friday night was pretty much an open family night and all areas were being used. Dante and I went to the basketball court and were able to shoot around a bit. Saturday, I had my 10 miler and I ran outside with my wife, Terri and poker buddy, Chad. It was a little windy, but we tried to hit routes that minimized the wind as much as possible. The 10 was not as easy as my long run last Saturday, but no so bad.

After I returned from my run on Saturday, my father in law was at my house waiting to help me grout the new tile. Grouting is a messy and nasty job. It took two of us to accomplish. One was spreading the grout and the other was constantly cleaning the tile off with a sponge and dumping the dirty water out and refilling. This was not exactly what I wanted to do after I got done running 10 miles. Of course I showered first, then grouted. This process took a about 3 hours to do, actually a little longer than I expected. After the grout was on and tiles fairly cleaned off, we needed to wait for the grout to dry for 24 hours before I could wipe the tiles down again.

After grouting, I took another shower and we were out the door for my uncle Jimmy's 70th Birthday party. The party was at the Schaumburg Golf Club. It was dinner, open bar and music. Kids were invited and the dress was casual so it was a relaxing evening for everyone. I forgot to mention, I was the one who had to do the music. I prepared a play list during the week to try and satisfy a wide range of ages from 70-teens. Luckily, I have a large library and was able to prepare something to please most. Of course the older people would tell me to turn it down, while the younger people would be telling me turn it up. You can't please everyone. People were dancing and having fun, so I figured it was good enough.

On Sunday, I woke up and started cleaning the tile for the last go round and then applied a stone sealer. This protects the stone from any cooking grease etc. and enhances the color of the stone. I need to do this annually, but it is extremely easy. After that I started prepping the walls for painting and installed the new cabinet hardware and outlet covers. Needless to say, my day was spent working. My wife had been given tickets to the Chicago Wolves hockey game for Sunday, but I told her to take Dante and my nephew Shane instead of me going with. They went and had a good time and I was able to finish everything while they were gone. Below is the finished product of my hard labor. I am happy the way it all turned out and looking forward to the next project I dream up. I am sure it wont take me too long to figure something out.

Lat night was a rest day, but since I didn't get to the gym on Sunday, I decided to head up anyways. I ran 3 miles on the treadmill and did some free weights for biceps and chest. Terri and Dante went with for family hours (6:30-9:00) last night. Terri rode the bike while Dante played ball and ran around the track for a mile. I told him he needs to start running if he is going to run the local 5k (Run Thru the Hills) with us next month.

I feel great today and will be heading back to the gym for a 3 mile run tonight. If I still feel good, I will try some more lifting afterwards.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Gym Rat

Well I am off to the gym tonight to sign up and see how it goes. There is a February special with no initiation fee and a monthly fee of $66. It has an indoor track, pool, classes for spinning, yoga and even tennis courts. I am not sure how much I will use it but I will give myself a month or 2 and see if I can get my monies worth out of it.

My wife and I have a ten miler planned for tomorrow morning. The forecast looks like it will be a high of 31, so not too bad. One of my poker buddies, Chad is training for the Illinois Marathon and will be running with us in the morning. He is much faster than us, but he just needs to get the mileage in and wants the company. It will push me to move a little quicker as well.

My Father in law finished installing my tile back splash in the kitchen yesterday. It turned out great and the only thing left is to grout. I hope to have some photos of the finished project to share after this weekend.

I am going for a blood test before my run tomorrow to test my cholesterol and triglycerides. As I have posted before, I have a long history of bad reading of these in my blood work. I was told to give up caffeine and alcohol for the past 7 weeks and to retest to see where my numbers are. I did not give those things up completely, but had limited my consumption drastically. I have not had alcohol for the past week. This is no easy task, As I keep a 1/2 barrel on tap at my house. I played poker last night and was the only one drinking water. On a side note, I ended up winning for a change. I guess it was just luck, right? Anyway, I have my fingers crossed that the numbers have gone down and that things are getting somewhat under control. If not I curse my Italian ancestors for giving me such shitty genetics.

I hope everyone has a great weekend and wish Jamoosh good luck at Gaspirilla distance classic tomorrow.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Feeling Good with No Rest

Saturday’s nine miler went better than was expected. The weather was around 30 degrees and overcast, but the miles seemed to flow by effortlessly. My fastest pace was actually mile 8. In fact the run went so well that my wife and I went out again on Sunday, our rest day. The weather forecast was predicting snow on Sunday evening so we wanted to get another outdoor run in before the dreadful snow came. Well that snow came and it wasn’t so bad. I only saw a few inches of accumulation at my house. Still it is enough to prevent clear pavement for running for a few more days.

The good news is that my friend is still asking if I want to be her guest at the gym. I have a 3 miler for Tuesday, which I can run on my home treadmill but have a 5 on Wednesday that I will probably take her up on the gym offer. After running on the indoor track last week, I was having some pain in my ankle and inside shin. I self diagnosed my issue as Tibialis Posterior Tendonitis. After a rest on Friday evening and a Saturday run the pain seemed to have gone away. I think running so many laps on the track and having to pass so many walkers may have aggravated something. All I Know is that I am thankful the pain is gone and I am still running. I think I am going to use the treadmill at the gym and maybe a warm up and cool down on the track. Maybe it has nothing to do with the track, but I am too scared to test it out.

I was just in touch with an old college friend and he invited me to come to Champaign for a visit. He informed me that he is running the Illinois Marathon and he is going to do his first ½. I remember Max ran a little in college but not too much. I guess running to the bar was as good as it got. Anyway, I told him that I would have run the ½ with him but unfortunately, I signed up for the Wisconsin ½ Marathon for the same day. He has not been running regularly and is just thinking of starting his training this week, which gives him about 10 weeks to prepare. He said a few different people told him to run 3 miles for 6 days a week and a little longer on Saturday. He seemed really clueless on what it will take to get him ready for this. I forwarded Max the Hal Higdon ½ marathon novice program and I hope he will try and follow some training regime other than listening to clueless people. I hope he enjoys the journey and accomplishes the goal but as of right now I am a little skeptical. I guess too many people watch the Biggest Loser and assume anyone can run a marathon or ½.

Now that we have our appliances installed, we went tile shopping at Lowe’s for a back splash. We found a nice slate tile and bought all they had at our local store. We had to drive to another store to get the rest of the tile we needed. While we we re there, we decided to change the cabinet hardware, outlet covers and re-paint the kitchen. I seem to always create a good amount of work for myself, but I hope in the end it will be worth it. Luckily my Father-In-law is retired and has offered to install the tile. I think he is really excited to help out and who am I to get in the way of that happiness. He just did a back splash at his house and it turned out great. It also helps that his best (retired) buddy was a tile guy, who will probably accompany him for moral support.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Back in Business

It seems I have resolved my technical problems. I apologize if I have not been too responsive to anyone, but I assure you, I am reading your posts. It’s amazing how far behind you can get with just a short time away. Anyway, I am glad to be back and hopefully will not have any future computer issues.

Training is going well and I have been chugging along on my Hal Higdon 18 week program and incorporating a few extra miles in just to keep up with the level I was at anyway. I know this will change in a short time and I will wish I had rested up for the upcoming miles.

I have been going to the local gym lately with a friend of mine. She has a membership and they offer family hours but her husband chooses not to go, so I check in as him. They have an indoor track and it helps break up the monotony of running on the dreadmill. During the week, I have to run on the treadmill because it is dark and icy when I get home from work. I have also been able to incorporate a little lifting into my routine as well. I have been toying with the idea of joining the gym, but can’t seem to decide. They are offering a special for February with no initiation fee. The monthly fee is $65 and I don’t know if I will get my moneys worth. I am an outside runner, except for at night with icy conditions. I still have a few weeks to decide.

I have a nine miler scheduled for this Saturday, I haven’t run that distance since December and I am actually looking forward to getting out and putting some bigger numbers down. I took Monday off for President’s Day since my son was home from school and I was able to do a nice five miler in the morning, while it there was daylight outside.

Saturday, I had the new appliances delivered and I spent the rest of the day installing everything. I had a few issues with almost every piece but managed to get it done. The fridge had a leaking water line for the ice maker so I replaced that, the dishwasher required a part that didn’t come with it and I had to modify the Microwave install over the stove. Luckily with one trip to Home Depot I had everything I needed to complete the install. I have to say we are happy with the end result and it looks nice.

I have noticed a few new readers to my blog and I welcome you. I appreciate everyone’s comments and support.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Technical Difficulties

I have been experiencing technical difficulties lately and have not been able to post anything. I have been keeping up with all of you but feel badly that I haven't been able to leave comments on your posts. I am trying to figure out a solution so that I can fix my situation. Please know that I am keeping up and am with you in spirit, even if I don't comment much.

Training has been going well and according to my 18 week plan. Last weekend was 7 miles on Saturday in the snow and wind. I know I am not alone with this horrendous weather.

I signed up for the Wisconsin 1/2 marathon for May 1st, but couldn't talk my wife in joining me. Instead, I will be running with a friend. I signed up for my first race of the year for April 21st as well. I decided to run my local 5k (Run thru the Hills). My wife and son will run this as well, so it can be a family tradition like we did last year. My wife and son both got placed in their age groups and received medals last year.

I've got a busy weekend lined. Saturday morning long run with my wife, appliances delivered in afternoon, surprise B-Day party Saturday night. Sunday I am coaching my son's basketball team because the coach and asst. coach can't make it. Lucky the kids know what they are doing more than I do.

I hope to work my issues out soon and get back to normal.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Ten Things and a Cheese Head Medal

The weather still sucks in Chicago and I feel like a wimp for retreating to the treadmill after reading Marcia's blog today. She toughed it out and ran outside this morning. Anyway I will continue my first week of training tonight on the treadmill and head outside, rain or shine on Saturday for my 6 miler.

The Blue Moon is in and I'm still working the Wisconsin 1/2 Marathon angle with my wife. Heather told me I should because they have a cool cheese medal for finishing. I agree with her.

I have been tagged by Julie to list ten (10) things that make me happy.

Ten (10) things that make me happy!

  1. The most obvious is running. I am happy for what running has done for me, what is has made me and the feeling of health it provides me.

  1. Having Poker night on Thursday’s in my garage and the chance to BS with my buds makes me happy.

  1. The sweet nectar that New Glarus Brewing Company creates makes me very happy and sometimes buzzed!

  1. My wife and son always sometimes make me happy.

  1. Spending 3 day weekends in Wisconsin during the summer make very happy and relaxed. I am grateful to have a getaway for my family and me to spend our summers at.

  1. I am happy to have a steady job and to be employed. Some of my friends haven’t been as blessed as I have in that regard. It’s something I try not to take for granted.

  1. Friends make me happy. Both the ones I see physically and the Blog friends I communicate with in cyberspace.

  1. Building things make me happy. Back when I was going to college, I worked for custom furniture company and developed many valuable skills. I currently have a nice workshop and have built many pieces in my home and endless home improvement projects.

  1. Being able to run with friends make my day. I don’t often get running partners so when I do, it’s appreciated.

  1. Going to Wrigley field makes me happy. Nothing beats a cold beer and a ball park hot dog. Go Cubbies!