Saturday, December 24, 2005

Icy Shoulders

In less than 2-weeks, I'll be down in Orlando getting ready for the Disney World Marathon.

I haven't been running on pavement in many weeks. The whole Disney race will be on pavement as it snakes through the different parks. (The race actually starts out on the double lane freeway outside of Epcot.) Obviously my legs work differently on different surfaces so I was happy that the weather today cooperated for my first outdoor run in a long time. Temp was about 45 F and damp. Snow & ice melting all around me.

I did my old trusty "7 mile loop" today. I ran on wet pavement, icy shoulders, muddy gravel, mud, snow and dry pavement. My GPS watch recorded a 8:31/mi pace for the route. I was a bit bummed that the pace wasn't faster. Questioned myself repeatedly about whether I'm actually in any better shape than 6-months ago. The fact is that running is hard for me. It's a physical and mental game. I didn't run the 7 miles at a sub-8 pace, but I could have simply turned around and run the whole 7 miles again at about the same pace. That is a good improvement from 6-months ago.

The minute/mile pace things is really only a concern to runners. I'm sure it sounds like blah, blah, blah, blah to normal people, but it is important to me. It's a straight up measure of how I'm doing. Running is simple. How long did it take me to go this far?

It's Christmas Eve so now...let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!

Saturday, December 17, 2005

140 Icy Laps Later

Since my last post I've run around and around AND around in circles at the Pettit U.S. Olympic Training Facility.

Pettit is known for being one of the top speed skating facilities in the world. recently, I have taken advantage of the $3 rental of the 450 meter running track that wraps around the outside of the speed skating rink.

Last Sunday I ran for 3 hours and 7 minutes. Today (Saturday) I ran for 3 hours and 8 minutes. I took a few walk breaks. Maybe 10 minutes in total each day. I likely ran 38 miles total in the two session. I can't say either workout was simply easy, but I did fine. No major issues.

Today was certainly easier than last week.

I snapped a picture with my trusty Treo. I'm on the running track right after I got done. (That is ice next to me.)

I have now COMPLETED all of my long runs prior to the Disney World Marathon. I've completed 8 runs of 18+ miles each.

The final home stretch 3-weeks still has plenty of running, but my longest will be 8 miles. I'll keep you posted on how it's all coming together.

I believe I see a mouse!

Saturday, December 10, 2005

The Running Continues

The running continues as the Disney World Marathon on January 8, 2006 rapidly approaches. As many of you know, this will be my first marathon ever.

Earlier this year (Jan 05) I ran the P.F Chang Rock 'n Roll 1/2 marathon in Phoenix. Completing those 13.1 miles in a bit over two hours (2:08) was an accomplishment. For real runners my time was slow, but I did complete it. I was still running at the end and passing people even.

I tried to take a few months off from thinking about another race after completing the 1/2, but I found myself trying to image a full marathon. TWICE the distance of that 1/2. I thought about how far I had run and then thought about turning around to run all the way back. There is NO way! It's insane.

As May rolled in this year, I ran a local 10k race. I struggled to stay under an hour. My time slipped from the previous year...which had slipped (gotten worse) from the previous previous year. Well you can go back and read the blog entries. I slowly got busy getting in more miles and working harder. I did improve!

The Midwest fall weather cooperated with me. I got to run outside for my long weekend runs. I did a bunch of post here about those. I did a number of iRun Podcasts from my Treo. I got to run with a variety of friends...some new.

As the end of November zipped in, suddenly snow and cold! With temps of about 1F and's snowing right now too. I bundled up for some runs, but under 25F I'm not too interested in running outside. It's also hard to find a place where I can limit the risk of slipping.

So I've jumped on my treadmill for some sessions recently. Last Sunday I loaded up my iPod Shuffle. Got some bottles of water and Poweraid. Lined up some Accel Gels and pushed Start and Play. After 2 hours and 45 minutes I did a cool down walk for 15 minutes. The end result was 18.5 miles. I know I'll be thanking myself come Jan 8th! Man I was sore. The treadmill works the muscle differently than typical surfaces.

Today I ran for 40 minutes to get in a faster workout. Did some 5% inclines and 8 mph pace at times. I got really hot, but it was good.

Tomorrow I'm planning for an indoor track run for some hours. It will be my first ever!

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Approaching Horizon

With the Disney World Marathon looming over an approaching horizon, I've racked up some hours on my teadmill.

Man, it is hot indoors compared to be out in the snow! I had forgotten about those 95F+ days in July.

After two-hours on the treadmill, I completed 13 1/4 mile. Ate a banana. Drank a bottle of water and an energy drink. Listened to all the songs I wanted to on my iPod Shuffle. I skipped most of the slow songs.

Yesterday I ran 8 miles on the treadmill and was way too hot. I ran a little slower today.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Longest Run!

Alarm went off at 4:20 AM to set out for my longest run ever!

Met Bill at 5:15 AM at this house. We dropped some water at mile 12 and my jeep at mile 17.5 and then back to Bill's to meet Jeff for 22 miles as we're training up for the Walt Disney World Marathon. My first marathon.

I bundled up pretty well this morning since it's like winter outside with a cold wind. Patches of ice/snow too. After running into the wind, we looped back to Bill's after a mile 'cause he needed his meds to breath. We got another dose of cold wind as we ran back to the trail. Miles, miles and more miles. The refill of water at mile 12 was very welcome. I'm glad I hid some cookies too.

Bill made a pit stop at a gas station. I walked around the parking lot.

At about 13.5 miles my right knee was a bit sore. I had to be careful with it because I still had a lot of miles to run. A walk break at Brookfield Square parking lot helped. We continued north as we watched to the time. We're on a deadline...we're heading to run a local 5k race!

Dropped my coat and Fuel Belt at my Jeep. We arrived at the starting line with 17.6 miles behind us. Sections of the race was on grass. That felt good on the feet.

The course looped twice...what was a I thinking! A lady tried to pass me at about 1.25 miles. I decided to run with her. At 2 miles my legs wouldn't or couldn't go faster so she ran ahead. I didn't let anyone else pass me as I picked up the speed for the final 50 yards. I finished in 28:10 for the 5k. My 2nd slowest 5k race ever, but I had just completed 20.7 miles!

Oh no! We're running 22 mile off Jeff, Bill and I went for another lap. About 15 miles later, I crossed the finish line once again to the confusion of the race organizers. I continued another 25 feet to the grass and laid face down. Turned my head to look at my watch and stop it. Exactly 22.0 miles in 3 hours 44 minutes.

...I'm starting to sense that Disney is possible.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Still Running

The Walt Disney World Marathon is fast approaching. I haven't update my blog in some weeks mostly because I was traveling...and running too much! Ok, working and playing a little bit of music too.

While in Hollywood earlier this month, I ran on 11/2, 11/3, 11/4, 11/5, 11/6 which was everyday I was there. I did a couple of runs from Hollywood to Beverly Hills and back. One run was around 11 miles on sidewalks. I also jumped on a treadmill 3x while I was there.

I was then in St. Louis. Ran outside a couple of times. Ran a 5k race around the arch while I was there in 22:47 which is a PR for me. Nice going!

Last Saturday 11/12 I was back home. I ran 20 miles with Bill & Jeff. My watch said 3:07:52, but that did include about 4 minutes of getting water and refilling with food at the 10.5 mile mark. I did well through the 17-18 mile mark finishing strong with good legs. I did rub the inside of my leg a little raw because I couldn't find the glide stick stuff. Ouch!

This Saturday is 22 miles!

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Discovery Run plus Warm Up

It was "long run day" as part of our build up to the Walt Disney World Marathon 2006.

Bill, Jeff and I left Bill's house at 7:15 AM to run about 9 1/2 miles down to the Lakefront in Milwaukee. The first couple of miles we were finding our groove. We settled in on a faster 9:10 pace than the 9:30 planned pace, but it felt good. In less than 30 minutes we could see the buildings from downtown off in the distance as the sun was coming up.

We ran mostly on sidewalks as the city blocks ticked lower and lower. A lady tried to bum a cigarette from me at 25th and Wisconsin. Yes, we are in the city.

We arrived at the lakefront after running for 1 hour and 26 minutes. We had to scramble a little bit to get our Lake Front Discovery race numbers. Yes, we ran here to run a RACE! A 15k race none the less. Mike found us. He had our race numbers!

As the gun sounded to start the race, we left the starting line with 10 miles already run as our "warm up". I'm guessing not many other people running this race had already run 10 miles today. So off we went! Check out the iRun Podcast live while I was running the Lakefront Discovery Run.

I ran with Bill, the Rabbit (Jeff) had been released to scurry ahead. Mike hadn't run to the lakefront with us, so he was going to be booking this race in under an hour.

At 2.5 miles into this race, we ran up a long winding hill. My legs (knees) really got tired. We passed the 3 miles marker and then 4 miles, my breathing was great. Cardio-wise I could run much faster, but just couldn't get the legs to do much of anything. At 5 miles (15 miles for us), Bill looked good and took off to pass a bunch of people. I shuffled along.

My pace stayed around the 9:30 mark so I wasn't doing as poorly as it seemed in my mind.

I brief ran backwards at the Calatrava and snapped a picture. I finished the 9.3 miles race in 1:29:50 with a final 25 yards sprint as two women tried to pass me. I did say (or maybe yelled) "no way no way NO WAY" as I referred to letting them pass me after I'd just run 19.3 miles! We all crossed the finish line at the same time. I was still standing!

Jeff met me at the finish with a bottle of water. He'd been done for 25 minutes. Bill appeared to say we've got .7 miles left to run! I waddled off another 3/4 of miles to the parking garage.

I can't imagine another 6.2 miles tacked on for a marathon, but we'll keep at it!

All in all a fun morning.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Hey Nineteen

Yep it was dark out this morning.

Alarm went off at 5 AM to get up for a long run with Bill, Larry and Jeff the Rabbit. Bill planned out a multi-car drop to have a car at the start, middle and end of this long run. I took a picture as we headed up to a road called OO in the dark...and it was drizzling and 40F.

We ran for about 15 minutes in the dark and 30 minutes in a mental haze as we all woke up. We did about a 9:22 pace for this section. We continued on for miles. Mostly on the local bike trail.

At 10.5 miles we arrived at the mid-drop car. I grabbed another bottle of water, a banana and Larry gave me a homemade cookie. I should mention that while opening Larry's car, I pushed the little red panic button on his remote by accident. Had the horn honking a few times which I'm sure the neighborhood loved.

Within a few minutes we were back on the trail running...I kept the watch running the whole time.

A bit past 11 miles the trail switched over to pavement. Wow, what a change for the legs and feet. None of us enjoyed the feel of this. Good thing the fall colors were gorgeous to distract our brains. The pavement was wet from the drizzle and the pavement was HARD! I took a couple of pix as we crossed a long bridge on the trail.

We cruise past the 1/2 marathon point in this section in a bit over 2 hours.

We continued onward...

Larry, Bill and I stuck together at a 9:15 pace while the Rabbit took off ahead of us at this point. The final 6 miles took more focus for me 'cause my legs were getting pretty tired. A one minute quick walk break at around 17 miles helped me out. We ended right at 19 miles in 2:56:34 in the parking lot of Echo Lake Park. Another PR for distance for me!

World famous and listened to iRun podcast was live from our run.

I must have not taken in quite enough liquid during the run because after the run I had my right calf and then my left calf cramp up in the parking lot. Ouch, that hurts. I forgot to drink more because it was raining. Live and learn.

Afterwards, a fine LARGE breakfast was enjoyed by all. We even found out that rabbit food includes cheese cake for breakfast!

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Oprah Five

I remember reading an article about Oprah training for the Marine Corps Marathon. She was doing two a day running workouts. She finally accomplished an 8:00/mi for 5 straight miles. I was astonished at how fit you'd have to be to run five miles in 40 minutes. At the time, I had a hard enough time walking 3.5 miles in an hour.

This evening I went down to the local high school track to run some of those speed workouts. I was going alone. I laughed as I pulled up in my Jeep to find fans in the stands and a football game in progress. I laughed because I actually thought for 2 second about just doing my running there anyways.

Off to the local bike path I went instead. I decided to do a quick 4 miles up and back. As I was running along I remembered this Oprah things. I said, "self, I bet I could beat that right here and now." I'm going to run 5 instead of 4.

At 1 miles I crossed a busy highway, lots of traffic tonight so I stood there waiting for what seemed like 2 minutes. I'm guessing it was actually 30 seconds.

At 2.5 miles my left thigh sudden felt weird so I decided to walk to check it out. I was fine so I went back to running.

4 miles I'm back crossing the road again on my return trip. Busy again...likely 20 seconds this time. I then ran the last mile at a nice even pace, but 30 seconds slower than the first mile.

I ended my little 5 mile workout in 39:36 for a 7:49/mile pace. I was pleased to at least be in the Oprah league of fitness.

The Walt Disney World Marathon is fast approaching for me. Less than 3 months now!

this is an audio post - click to play

Monday, October 17, 2005

Songwriting & Running

I haven't posted anything about songwriting in while so I thought it was time. I've been writing (and recording) this song called Should Have Stayed. Here's the link to the latest version I worked on this past weekend and mixed tonight in Sonar 5.

I've had this "should have stayed" hook for a few years, but the song just never completely came together. This past weekend I decided I wanted to work on it again. Maybe get it ready for the Taxi music Road Rally which is coming up in a three weeks.

I deleted all the previous vocals and started over. I sang the parts sitting right here at my computer singing into a Studio Projects C1 mic which is plugged into my Manley Voxbox which is plugged into my RME multiface which plugs into my PC. I did this while editing lyrics on the screen in MasterWriter. The rest of my studio setup is a Mackie Big Knob which I plug my headphone into and my Mackie HR824 speakers. That's it other than my power strip.

I didn't want to mess around with the vocals too much because I'm planning to have a real singer do his thing, but I still needed to sing the parts to express overall what I want. It was an interest way to rewrite lyrics, but productive. Go ahead and give me your feedback on it.

As for running, my legs felt like I ran long yesterday, no injuries at all. My legs actually felt good consider I ran lots of miles. I'm planning to run tomorrow night if time permits.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Country Roads

Paul, Jeff & I met at Larry's house for a Sunday morning long run.

We were out the door by 7 AM into the upper 30s temps. A gorgeous clear morning, but crisp. I had my head, ears, hands, upper and lower bod and feet covered. My hands were still cold as we strolled through the few couple of miles at a 9:30/mi pace along the road. Nice hills to start with Larry!

We fell into a 9:20/mi pace after a few more miles and then 9:15/mi. We summited a nice hill at 7 miles and turned around at 7.3 miles into our long run. By this time, it was Jeff & I with Larry running with Paul a bit further back.

Back down the hill Jeff and I picked up the pace. I was wearing my trusty Garmin Forerunner 201 so I could see we were going to run further than the 13 miles we'd planned. I felt good.

At around 10 miles into our run, I checked our "current" pace then told Jeff we were doing an 8:00/mi pace. He slowed down to 8:30/mi for a bit. He's like a rabbit and can't run like tortoise. I stayed with him even though his pace was quickening.

Set a new PR for the 1/2 marathon distance as we cruised past 13.1 miles in 1:57:01. Not bad considering the hills!

Jeff and I arrived back at Larry's house in 2:09:30 for 14.6 miles. We cooled down a bit. Had a drink and stretched then turned around to go find Larry and Paul. We found them within a 1/2 mile of the house so this was a nice 10 minute cool down jog for me.

Larry (and family) hosted us afterwards with bagels, smoothes and coffee. A great way to start a morning!

The iRun podcast of course live from the run.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Life's a Blur

1:03:58 and Bill & I were done with 7 miles. A nice easy run this evening as we continue our strides toward the Disney World Marathon in early January 2006.

We ran the same bike trail as we ran this past weekend for our 18 miles. A little quicker pace tonight, but only 30 second per mile faster.

Felt good and we're making progress!

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Speedy Track

The 2006 Disney World Marathon is approaching fast. Less than 3-months from now!

As you know, this will be my first marathon. I'm working hard to be prepared to finish healthy. I don't want it to be a "medic tent" event that leaves me never wanting to run again.

Today was my first ever track "speed" workout. Pretty interesting. Three of the running guys (Bill, Larry and Jeff) I work with suggested running down to the local high school track for a few spins.

We did 6 sets of runs. Each run was twice around the track then we walked for 1/2 the track and ran again. We repeated this 6x. I think the runs were 880 yards for a total of 3 miles of these speedy runs. For me that meant a 7:30 mile pace. Forgot my Garmin watch at home so Bill was timing these things. The included picture is the only slight burst I ever made and the only time I was in front of these guys.

I attempted an iRun podcast WHILE in the middle of one of these runs around the track. I'm not sure you'll understand a word I say. This was hard.

With the mile to and from the track plus the 3 miles at the track we ran 5 miles and walk 1 1/4.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Back in Black

With the Treo back in hand, the iRun podcast is on the air and net.

I didn't know how I'd feel today after running 18.6 miles. I decided last night that I would play it by ear.

I woke up pretty rested and my legs didn't feel like had done anything too bad. Certainly no injuries or blisters. I think part of this comes from fueling well prior to running, during running and after running yesterday. Also good feet prep prior to the run. I suppose a bit of it goes to enough running leading up to this. ha!

Today's run started around 1:30 PM. Temps felt like lower 50s with a healthy breeze.

I started off with a slow pace to get my legs moving and make sure running today was a good idea. I don't want to over do it. I've been extremely careful in overuse the past many years. Iknow I've got to use it to not loose it, but overuse causes many of the injuries that runners get. The pace was slower the first half mile. About a 9:40 minute/mile.

I felt good! So I kicked it up a bit. I cruised along at about an 8:20 min/mi pace. I stayed with this miles. The finally 1/2 mile was about 7:15 pace. I finished the 6.9 miles in 56:36.

It was a nice run to do after a long run the day before. I'm making progress.

Treo found

After having my Treo 650 missing for 36 hours, I finally found it in my running bag. It had gotten under the solid bottom piece of the bag. I know I looked in the bag 4 times, but finally frisked it down. The phone was off.

I'm going back and taking a picture of my watch from yesterday's run then out the door for more!

Saturday, October 08, 2005

18 and counting

Yes, we surpassed 18 miles!

Bill and I met at 6:30 AM. We took off north up the local bike trail with plans for a 16 mile run. With the weather in the lower 40's, I was in shorts and layered with a short sleeve running t-shirt and long sleeve Nike pull over, my new headband ear covers and a cap on my head. Unfortunately, my Treo 650 phone & camera were MIA.

At 7 miles we had to run along side a busy road. A truck lost part of it's tire as it sped by reminding us that trail running is a little safer. We turned around at 8 miles. We passed 13.1 half marathon distance at 2:04 into the run. As we got closer to our cars, we decided to do a couple more miles the other direction. Our legs were hangin' in there. When it was all said and done, we did 18.6 miles in 2:57:04 for a 9:32 minute/mile pace. This is 2.5 miles longer than my previous longest run!

Disney World Marathon, we're gettin' ready!

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Cool Trail Run

Afterwork trail run late this afternoon. I ran with Paul, Bill, Jeff and Larry. We're all running the Disney World Marathon in January.

Wow, it's gotten cool outside. It was 80 something yesterday and in the low 50s as we ran today. Maybe even a bit colder than that. My hands were cold.

The trail is pretty nice. The county keeps it mowed. We took the outside loop with a couple of big hills up and down. We were able to keep a nice 8:41 minute/mile pace for 3.4 miles in 29:25.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Quick 5.5 Miles

Went for a quick 5.5 mile run after work this evening. Did a loop from work. It was hot again this evening. In the 80s for maybe the final day this season.

We ran 5.5 miles in 47:25 working up a good sweat. A good pace of 8:37 min/miles. I needed some water once we were done.

Planning for a long run on Saturday 'cause that Disney World Marathon is approaching fast!

I didn't take my trusty Treo 650 out on the run so I had to snap the pictures after the run. You can see the sun was setting as I left in my Jeep.

At least it's not snowing yet.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Road Blocks

There's always a few road blocks getting tossed up in life. Gotta just move them aside and get on with life. Maybe the road is only closed to others and it's now your private road for the day? :)

Went for an easy 4 miles after work with Bill. We ran on the bike trail north from town. It was good to get some miles under our feet after the harder running/racing on Sunday.

It was hot today. I bet it was actual over 80F while were were out running. We completed the 4 miles in 37:03 so you can see it was an easy pace for us. My watch said it was a 9:14 min/mile pace.

The iRun podcast is short, but sweet.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

4:15 AM Wake up

My alarm went off at 4:15 AM! Up to start the journey toward runing a 7.4 mile segment of a marathon relay team in the Milwaukee Lake Front Marathon.

A shower, some oat meal with apple sauce and a quick run down of my check list. I am out the door. After the first rendezvous point, there are four of us. We stop at 5: 35 AM at Starbucks. I get a tall mocha. We all use the bathroom. Onto the next rendezvous "park and ride" point.

We have 5 relay teams sponsored by my company. All employees. Now with a caravan of cars we have 15 or so people. After a quick drive into Milwaukee, most of the teams jump on buses by the lake front in Milwaukee. 4 of us drive a can up the 26.2 mile race course just because we could. We stop and test out one of the port-o-pots at mile 12. We arrive way up in Grafton about 40 minutes prior to race time.

I do my race prep since I was running this first 7.4 mile leg. I get my race number pinned on my front and a relay tag on my back. Change from sandals to running shoes and get my watches on. I check to make sure other team members are going to get on their buses...look for two missing team members from another one of our teams. We don't find them because they ultimately wimped out.

Last year for this same race, I did the first relay segment, but this year they've added an additional .4 miles to this first leg. Still, a 7.4 mile run is well within what I've been practicing for all summer. I set a goal of 8:00 min/miles some weeks ago. I know Oprah did 5 miles at a 8:00 minute pace while training for her marathon. Since I haven't accomplished this in a 5+ mile race, that's the goal.

I ran a few laps around the parking lot to warm up about 10 minutes prior to race time. I felt good even though I got up early. I saw Tom Pipines from Fox 6 Sports standing along the starting area in a sweater. Hmmm...I'm running and he's not?

Ok, my team is shooting for 3:20 total race time. I'm the slow guy on the team. I can't afford to start out slow. I've got to really run/race this whole first leg. Ah, but I can't start out so fast that I burn myself out.

I'm getting into the starting queue in what I consider to be the second wave of runners. Not the really really fast people, but the next batch. The Star Spangled Banner starts. I take off my cap. I'm pumped to run. I don't even hear the starting gun go off, but I see people moving. Within 14 seconds I am across the starting line.

My first mile split is 6:55 min/pace. WAY too fast, but I feel good. I need to go just a bit slower. I cruised past the 5k point at 22:44. I realize immediately that I have NEVER run any 5k this fast. Not even close! Holy cow I'm movin'. Is this really a correct time? I know it's an accurate time since I have my GPS watch and the course is an official Boston qualifying race course.

The weather is perfect in the upper 50s. Not hilly. I've got people passing me even though I've never run this fast in my life. I've got to keep moving.

I come past the 10k point at 47:13. Wow, many minutes faster than any previous 10k race. My last 10k race was in early May. I ran that in 59:56 and was dead when I finished.

At 6.5 miles I find Mike our lone company marathoner. He's suddenly next to me. He's running the whole race. He's an excellent experienced runner. I ask him if the pace is correct. He verifies the pace. I ask him how he's feeling. He says he hasn't picked up the pace yet. I'm running all out and he's not even breathing hard. I'm running 7 and he's running 26.

I see my exchange point up ahead. I sprint my final .10 of a mile. Larry is there and ready. I'm standing there out of breath. He rips the timing chip from my ankle and is gone. I finished the 7.4 mile segment in 55:57. I catch my breath for a good 30 seconds, but then I felt good. I did the whole segment in 7:36 min/miles. I've finally beaten OPRAH!

My team members zipped onwards after me as the temps got hotter for them. We missed our overall goal by 1 second, but beat our previous company record by 18 minutes. A job well done!

My other relay teams did great. They all came to participate and run their butts off. Many had never run a race. They showed up in all their glory. Fantastic attitudes, sweaty bodies and an accomplishments. I am proud!

Thx to Dom for snapping a couple of pictures from his driveway as I came by at 5 miles.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Prep Day

Got in a nice short run today in prepartion for the marathon relay tomorrow. I hadn't been out running in 5-days so I was well rested, but didn't want to go into a race without a nice run the day prior. I did a new shorter loop that ended up being just a bit over 3.5 miles. Not a typical route I'll do, but it's good to have this one available. Not sure why I never thought about it.

It was hot today. Not typical of this time of year. I didn't take along anything to drink. Didn't really need it, but was glad to have my gookinaid waiting outside for me.

The world famous iRun podcast was broadcasting live from my run.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Trail Race

I did my first "ever" trail race this morning.

The race was 3.8 mile run around Wolf Lake. The 6th year they've held this race. Well organized with 156 runners and some additional people hiking/walking. About 70 F and humid. A local high school marching band played the "Star Spangled Banner" prior to the start. The mood was very positive.

As the race started, the band played Ozzy Osbourne's "Ironman". I smiled.

We had to cruise around a softball field. Loop the outside of the whole field to start and then down onto the trail. The trail was down hill then up and then down and up and up and down and up. Ran in grass for about 1 mile before getting to the woods where the trail was dirt with roots, rocks, leaves and grass. I could see the erosion from rain. The footing was more difficult, but it wasn't mud.

I ran up and down all the hills until I came to a steeper downhill slope in the woods. This was around 2 miles into the race. I could hear a few runners behind me so I moved to one side and shuffled down the slope as a guy in a yellow shirt flew passed me, arms flailing. Since I had never run this course, I didn't want to take a slope on my back or my head. I was in my normal Asics running shoes.

Back out of the woods onto grass with a mile to go, I was breathing hard enough that I knew I couldn't go any faster. I wasn't catching the two guys in front of me, but I had some people on my tail!

At the 3 mile marker (the first marker I saw during the race) a couple of guys behind me push up even closer. In my mind, I slowed my pace by 5-10 secs per mile as they did that. I felt I could recover for 90 secs before making a final push for the finish. We had about 1/2 mile left.

One guy slowly slipped past me, but I could tell he was breathing hard. Then the other guy asked me if I had on a GPS watch. I wanted to say "Yes and it's going to help me beat you!", but I just said "Yep." I looked back toward the guy in front of me to see if he was in my age group. He looked a bit younger. Finally we could see the finish a 10th of a mile ahead. I took off sprinting passed the guy in front of me finishing 5 seconds in front of him. The "GPS asking guy" was a few seconds behind him. Woo!

I finished the 3.8 miles in 29:06. Very happy with my finish considering the hills and that it was on grass and dirt. It was below my target 8:00/mile pace for next weekend's marathon relay.

I was 15th overall. ...much better than 16th!

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Saturday Slow Run

Met up with guys (Bill, Larry, Jeff) from work for a 6 AM long run this morning.

I hadn't been on a long run in 3-weeks because of traveling and lack of motivation afterwards. My miles have slipped the last three weeks. I could sure feel it today after running these 11 miles at a 9:22 minute/mile pace. My fitness conditioning has dropped off. My legs are tired. The last few miles on pavement were difficult on my legs. I've got to get my miles back up and continue to maintain that. We completed the 11 miles in 1:43:09. It was a slow enough pace that we could talk.

Note to self: It's now dark in the morning when I get up. I don't want to run on the highway in the dark. I need to come up with another option for my runs during the week. ...and the snow will be blowing before we know it. Well we will know it!

I worked in my iRun podcast near the end of our long run.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Five Mile Tuesday

Went running afterwork with Mike, Jeff and Bill. We hadn't planned to run together, but I decided on Monday night that I would pack my running stuff for Tuesday afterwork since I wasn't going to have time on Wednesday to run.

We ran north on the local bike trail. My GPS battery ran out about 10 minutes into the run. Forgot to charge it after Germany. Mike had his Garmin so I know we ran about 5 miles in about 43 minutes.

It was a warm 80 degree evening. We ran at 5 PM.

Darn, I forgot to do my iRun podcast. Next time folks!

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Sunday non-Fuzzy Run

Oh it's nice to be back in the central time zone.

I know this zone. The clock in my head knows it, but when I come back from jumping through lots of time zones I become clueless to the time. The brain is fuzzy and just doesn't know. From experience, I know that running helps make the adjustment faster. For me it seems that running outside helps more than the treadmill, but both help more than doing nothing.

Today was mystery running partner day. We did a local bike trail. We planned for 10k, but did 6.4 miles in 71 minutes. Nice easy pace after yesterday's harder run by myself. It was fun. Nice weather about 70 in the sun.

I was back to during my iRun podcast again. Also got the Treo cam turned on me from a distance. Hey, I have a whole body! I even match my Jeep.

I'll be doing the Wolf Lake Trail Run next Sunday. It's a run around Wolf Lake. I've never done a true trail run. If you're interested let me know. I think it's 3.8 miles.

It's 8 pm in Germany. Did Angela Merkel win?

Saturday, September 17, 2005

I'm Home!

Holy cow, I ran my 6.9 miles today in 55:39!

This is 21 seconds faster than my previous personal record for this loop.

I really needed to get in a good workout after the back & forth to Europe. I slept pretty well last night. Got up "early" to run, but it was only starting to get light and it was I jumped back into bed. Got up about 15 minutes later.

It looked cool outside so I put on some running pants and gloves. Not enough to run with just that so I got on the short sleeve t-shirt, Nike cap, coolmax socks, Nike shoes, Fuelbelt and Garmin 201.

Had a really good run. It was cool! First run in a long time with gloves on, but it helps keep me feeling good on cooler mornings. Harder to take picture though with gloves on. ha!

Doin' a marathon relay next month. I'll be ready! Hmmm...think I'm doing my first trail run next weekend?

Thursday, September 15, 2005

X Hours in Kopenhagen

A good early morning run about 3.75 miles in the city center of Berlin. I snapped a picture about 1k over the line from the old East German side. I'd run past these WWII tanks twice, but it was too dark the other mornings. The whole tank thing made me think about how quickly the world does change.

Took a flight to Copenhagen. Have some hours here which reminds me of a song my brother wrote. Hmmm...I need to link to an mp3 of it. Is there one anywhere?

Snapped a picture of my lunch or was it dinner or I guess breakfast depending upon what time zone you are in. If you've been to this airport, you see this being eaten/drank a lot. One of these beers and two of these weenies were enough.

Only airport that I know of that has all wooden floors. Can't quite see that in this picture.

Next up...9 hour flight to Chicago.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Schneller schneller

I remember the "Berlin Wall" being such a scary thing as I grew up. It had always been there during my lifetime, but a far away story.

The Tiananmen Square Massacre and the fall of the Berlin Wall happened in 1989. I remember both extremely well. It's amazing that I've been running this summer in both places. Both places for the first time too.

Ok, on with running. Last night I had the jetlag thing where I didn't sleep well until it was time to GET UP! Since I'm here to work, I couldn't just sleep. It was still dark out. I was slow getting up. I had 20 minutes in my schedule that I could run so I went out and ran fast before breakfast.

I snapped this picture RIGHT out front that hotel (Adlon) where Michael Jackson was dangling his kid. This is the east side of the wall in that other picture. The side people wanted to escape from!

There's a Starbucks to my left.

For for reference, from Tiananmen Square the Starbucks is 1/4 mile inside the Forbidden City.

Almost forgot, I ran a couple of miles in 17 minutes.