First Runs of my training season

So I’ve done a couple training runs now and they’ve felt pretty good. Feels good to be back running after a month off. They’ve both been treadmill runs, since cold has settled in here in WI.
5K on 5 December
4 miles 8 December

The runs have both felt pretty good and my knee has felt good. Hopefully, that means it’s no longer going to be a problem.

On another note, I’m trying to decide which I like better, running in the morning, or in the evening. I’ve done one of each so far. I definitely like the after effects of running in the morning, sets the rest of the day up well. I just don’t like getting up early, LOL. I don’t have to get up early to run in the evening, but it cuts into the evening, also leaves me kind of ramped up for a few hours afterward, so relaxing is a little rough.

Whatever, I’ll figure it out. For now it just feels great to be back on the road, moving toward next year’s schedule and goal!

Until next time, see you on the course!!

//r

Relay Races and Instruments of torture

I’ve been thinking A LOT the last couple days about a race a friend of mine ran last year. The Ragnar Relay. This is a relay race from Madison to Milwaukee to Chicago. It’s a team race, for 4 to 12 members. I’ve heard its a lot of fun. So, I had decided I was going to either find a team, or build a team. I talked to a friend of mine at work, who said he might be in, gotta see how his training goes. I talked to a couple people at my local running shop, who said the shop has a team, and there are others from the area. The date for the race is 8-9 June. I looked at my race schedule for next year, and guess what? Chicago 13.1 is 9 June. ugh… Decision time: do i want to run this relay? Or run the Chicago 13.1, which, incidentally, is the first half I ever ran, and still the race that is my PR for a half at 2:10:24. I have several other halves on the schedule for next year, but that race is kind of special for me. Ugh! Decisions.. Decisions….

So now that my mind is being tortured by this decision making process, why not torture my body as well! While I was at my running shop today, I made a small purchase. Yep.. you guessed it, the sadistic instrument that we runners love to hate: the Foam Roller! Getting it home, I unceremoniously unwrapped it, tossed it on the floor, and began to roll out my IT bands, coming close to tears as I did. My kids were looking at me, and asking me why, if it hurt so bad, did I not stop? How do you explain that while it HURTS SOO DAMN BAD, it feels SOO DAMN GOOD!! After a few minutes of rolling out my IT bands, calves, and thighs, I just laid there on the floor cursing the torture I just put myself through, but reveling in the fact that my legs didn’t feel like concrete pillars!

It was a good way to take my mind off of the decision. Unfortunately, it was short lived, cause the thought process was back quickly. I guess a lot of the decision will be made for me, by either being able to put together a team, or join an existing team. The rest of the decision though, do I want to be on an “ultra” team (one with 6 or fewer runners, making the leg lengths longer) or a regular team, leg lengths of 3-8 miles. I like the idea of the ultra team, but, once again, that depends on the team I get into. I have to also be cognizant of my pace in joining a team, I’m a 9:30-10:00 miler. I have to be careful about the rest of the team’s pace. If they’re looking to be competitive, I’m probably not the runner for them. Whatever. I’ll figure it out. If its not the Ragnar for me this year, then it’ll be moved to next year’s calendar. Hopefully, it won’t conflict with the 13.1 two years in a row.

Until next time, see you on the course!!

//r

Next season

So, I’m already itching for next season! My off season training is going to have to entail some much needed core strength training, which I’m not really fond of doing, but, it has to be done. Its been problematic the last several races. :(

I’ve been looking at what races I want to run next year. Its going to be a busy year, there are A LOT of races I want to run, I might have to cut a few out, or cut down on the distances of a few to be able to make some of the other more “important to me” races, but:

Race Distance Date Location
Shamrock Shuffle 8K 25-Mar-12 Chicago
Indy Mini Half 5-May-12 Indianapolis
Soldier Field 10 Miler 10M 26-May-12 Chicago
Chicago 13.1 Half 9-Jun-12 Chicago
Summerfest Rock & Sole Half 10-Jul-10 Milwaukee
Rock N Roll Chicago Half Half Aug-12 Chicago
Chicago Half Half 9-Sep-12 Chicago
Chicago Marathon Full 7-Oct-12 Chicago
Lakefront 50/50 (50K) 50K Oct-12 Chicago
Chicago Monster Dash (?) Half Oct-12 Chicago
Goofy Challenge Half/Full Jan-13 Disney World (FL)

This list is far from complete. It’s just my first thoughts for next season. So far I’ve made four goals for next season:

<2:00:00 Half Marathon
<4:30 Marathon
Finish the Chicago Lakefront 50/50 (50K)
Finish the Goofy Challenge in 2013

I think they're realistic, attainable goals, so I'm going for it!

Until next time, see you on the course!

//r

Chicago Monster Dash Half Marathon — Post Race

So, today was the last race of my season, the Chicago Monster Dash Half Marathon–fun race! I put everything together last night, put my chip on my shoe, my bib on my shorts, and gathered all the other gear I’d need for the race. I put my clothes at the foot of my bed, along with both sets of shoes, my runner’s and my beaters for after the race (I really need to get a set of sandals for post race, note to self for next season.)

I got up this morning at 5a, got dressed, had my coffee, and small bowl of cereal for breakfast and was on my way. I left at 530, getting to Soldier Field to park, at just about 730. The start time for the race was 915, so I had just shy of a couple hours to kill.

Spent a few minutes in the parking garage, changing my shoes, and making sure I had all I needed from the van, which is when I realized I forgot my sunglasses, ugh, always something, right?!?!? LOL… I got everything else together, and wandered over to the start area. When I got there, there were only a few people there, mainly because it was an hour and a half early! The band, Mike And Joe, was setting up, doing sound checks, and basically teasing us with 30 second song bytes… I waited to do gear check till later, because it was still cold, it was about 45 when I left home, and didn’t get much warmer till later on into the race.

So about 845, I took off all the hot gear I had on, and did gear check. Then started my warm up routine. At about 905, they called for all HM runners to enter the starting area. Start was pushed back almost 15 minutes, I think I heard them announce they were waiting on clearance from CPD or something, I dunno; I was having fun looking at all the costumes around me. I, of course, went as a runner! I KNOW! GREAT COSTUME!! RIGHT!?!?!

So, start came, at just before 930. I crossed the start line and felt really good. The field was pretty small, <10,000 runners, so it thinned out QUICK. We ran a lap around the start area block, then out to lakefront path. I felt pretty going out, my knee started to hurt a little just before halfway, but nothing too crazy, like it did at the Marathon last month.

It really started hurting about mile 8. I hung in there a while, kept running, but had to start taking a walk break every now and then. My new shoes felt pretty good, I went up a half size, so my toes didn't take as much of a beating. Only complaint, is my fault: I should have ran in them more before the race… I only had about 10 miles on them before the race this morning.

Once again, I was plagued by technology failure, at about mile 11: my phone died, so music, and run track was gone… ugh… I REALLY need to get a new battery! This has happened at every race this year, I just keep forgetting to get the new battery.

So I finished, posting my best race this year: 2:20:08. Not a PR, but better than my last few races, so I'll take it. At least its a step in the right direction! We got our medals and then passed through to get our snack bags and water and stuff. I went over, sat near the stage, listened to them while I stretched out. They were pretty good.

Headed out to the van, and drove home, thus ending this race season. I’m going to take November off to heal, get my knee looked at. Hopefully there’s nothing really wrong there, I don’t think there is, but, I need to make sure. I’ll start back up training again in December, unless the doctor says otherwise.

I’ve been looking at my race schedule for next season, and am starting to formulate the plan for my “race a month” goal. That’s one of my goals for next year, the other is the 2013 Goofy Race and a Half Challenge. I’ll be looking for registration for that in January of this year, right after the 2012 race is done. There’s a lot of work between then and now, and a friend has put the bug in my ear about the Chicago Ultra next year. I don’t know about the 50M race just yet, but the 50K race is a definite possibility next year!

Until next time, see you on the course!

//r

Disappointment!!! :(

So, I’d been waiting for over a week to get to the day I would go buy my new trainers, and the day finally came! So I went to my new running shop, talked to the salesperson about them. She went in the back to get them, and brought them out! The Mizuno Wave Inspire 8–Osaka Marathon Limited Edition color scheme! She laced them up, I put my insoles in, and tried them on…. only to discover they’ve changed the heel cup…. there seems to be less support on the outside of the heel cup… so on heel strike, my foot rolls to the outside slightly, then rolls back flat… ugh… not good… with all the knee issues I’ve had in the last year or so, i’d be done for in those…

So, I wound up getting another pair of the Wave Inspire 7s. Still awesome shoes, but, the color scheme is just a common place blue and grey… Oh well, its running, not a fashion show, right?!?! Still, that color scheme RoCkEd!! Eh, whatever!

Tomorrow begins the break in. I’ll wear them around the house to walk in, so the foot-bed can start to form to my foot, then run in them next week. I’ll be breaking the rules a little bit, and will have a small number of miles in them before the race next Saturday, but, I think I’ll be fine. Its a Half, but, I should be fine.

Next Saturday ends my race season for this year. :( I’m thinking I’ll probably take November “off” (run just a couple times a week, to loosen up), and then start back up training in December. I’d really like to try to set my race schedule next year for one race a month, every distance, 5K to Marathon, culminating in the 2013 Goofy Challenge in January 2013, at Disney World in Florida. I’ve started looking at different races next year, and have a good idea, the only problem is that there are SO MANY half and full marathons I want to run. Its going to be a challenge just to narrow it down!

I’m definitely running the Chicago Marathon again next year, as well as the Rock n Roll Half, and the Chicago Half. Additionally, I’d like to run the 13.1 Chicago, the Indy Mini, the Madison Marathon, the Summerfest Half in Milwaukee, Soldier Field 10 miler, and the list goes on and on and on… ugh… .EXPENSIVE!!! but SO worth it! I think at least!

My goals next year include a <2:00 Half, and a <4:30 full. To get there, one thing I'll need to work on is core training… ugh.. I hate core training, but, it's where I'm lacking. Once I strengthen my back and abs, that'll take some of the pressure off my hip flexors, and other muscles that are picking up the slack… I'll also need to work on pacing… If I can keep my pace even, I can and will do better. That's been my biggest challenge so far, my pace is all over the map.

New site for for my brain dumps!

So I figured I’d add throw this site out there as a landing point for my mental vomiting…

I know, graphic right!?!?!

anyhow, the posts might be a little bi-polar, development one day, music another, running another, or something off the wall outside of that…. ¬†anyway, get used to it… ¬†and get in, sit down, hang on, and enjoy the ride….

Pre-Race — Chicago Monster Half

Chicago Monster Dash Half Marathon is coming up on October 29th! I’m looking forward to that! I’m sure it will be a fun race, seeing all the costumes and stuff! I’m going to dress up as a …. wait for it…. wait for it…. A RUNNER!!! lol…. I can’t run with all that crap on!

I’m also excited cause I’m getting my new trainers tomorrow! I’m going with the Mizuno Wave Inspire 8 Osaka Marathon Edition! They are AWESOME!!! I’m getting them tomorrow after work! i’m also going to get a pair of gloves for running. It got COLD!!!

I’m looking forward to going down to Chicago next Saturday for the race. The course looks pretty decent: Starts in Grant Park, looks like it follows LSD and the lakefront path up into Lincoln Park, then loops around in LP for a mile or so, then jumps back on the LFP to come back down past Navy Pier, and back into Grant Park.

Running on LFP is awesome, albeit, cold, possibly on Saturday morning. Its a beautiful run though… Easy to get lost in the view over the water.

Hopefully, I’ll be able to post a good time for this race. I’ve not really been able to post a good time for any race this year.