Tuesday, May 31, 2011

20 miles and lots of meat!

I first want to say that I had a great weekend camping with the family. We went out to western Minnesota and camped with some friends. My step-dad has a camper and was nice enough to let us borrow it for the weekend.
Really ruffing it!
Saturday was supposed to me the nicest day of the weekend as the weather was calling for rain, wind, and thunderstorms. The day before, it rained from 9am to 9pm and the gravel roads were all muddy. So saturday morning I set out for my last (and only, I failed the first go-round) 20 miler, after driving 1.5 miles to a paved road. My plan was to run 5 miles north and 5 miles back, refill the fuel belt, then repeat. I finished the first 10 miles in 1:24:20, but was pretty wasted from running the second 5 miles into the wind. It literally felt like someone was holding the back of my shirt while I was running into the wind. To top off the misery, the ipod took a crap after mile 1! So not only did I have to run in the wind, but I had nothing to take my mind off the vast nothingness of the landscape.
The wind BLOWS!
The next 10 where done in 1:35:01. Not what I hoped for, but I got the 20 miles done none the less. I then headed back to the camper and cried got ready to eat my body weight in meat.

The rest of the day I felt physically fine and the next day I wasn't even that sore, so I know that I had something left in the tank and that my fitness is about where it needs to be or at least as good as it's going to get. So the overall time wasn't great (at least by my own expectations), but I shouldn't discount the conditions, it was brutal. After my run, it was time to get my camp on!

Here's a quick list of all the different meats I ate over the weekend;

Hamburger - stuffed with crumbled bacon and cheese.
Brats - wrapped in bacon.
Ribs - not wrapped in bacon, but should have been!
Turkey - 2 different kinds, sliced sandwich meat and deep fried!
Steak - 2 different kinds of this also, a regular grilled steak and steak kabobs.
Chicken - kabobs.
* all washed down with about 15 Diet Cokes *

After the decent (but windy as hell) weather on Saturday, the rest of the weekend looked like following pics; cloudy and windy. If nothing else, it was good kite flying weather.

Daddy! don't take my picture!

This is actually a good size kite. The tail is about 15 feet long.

What's camping without a campfire!

My girls resting up for the big weekend. This was on the way.

Since I took off work on Friday, it was nice to have a 4 day weekend with the family and get in a 20 mile run.  Now it's taper time for Grandma's Marathon!

I'll be back to share my Marathon goals real soon.


Thursday, May 26, 2011

New Hoodie!

So the weather here in Minnesota hasn't been all that warm yet and with my recent desk move at work, I've been a little chilled lately. The A/C vent is right behind me at my desk and continuously blows cold air on me all day. So I thought, I need something I can throw on quickly when I get cold and since I'm not a strange cardigan wearing single adult who likes trains and talks to puppets...

a hoodie from Punk Rock RAcing seemed oddly appropriate.

Label on the back of hoodie
Now this may not be 100% accurate, but I believe that we've only had a couple days in the 80's and only until recently have we had 3 consecutive days in the 70's. For the most part the weather has been rainy and in the 60's. Despite the rain, 60 degreee weather is fine with me. I'd rather have the temp in the 60's than in the high 90's as I don't do well in the heat. In any event, my new hoodie will keep the chill away and scare away any of my co-workers from coming to my desk.

Pic on the front right of hoodie.
 Just my little way of "sticking it to the man"!


Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Wet + Sweaty = Wetty

There was a little delay in the start of our run on Sunday, Ryan was delayed in traffic. So I had some time on my hands while I waited in South Minneapolis so I got a hooker and some blow waited patiently in my car.  Once he got there, we waited a little longer for the rain to let up. There was also tornado's reported in the area, so we headed out with reckless abandon cautiously.

Checking the weather.

This pic was from Oct 2010
The pic above is a pic I took last year. It's the same area we ran on Sunday, but it was raining at the time I had this view on the way out.

I kind of surprised Ryan with this pic.

After about 5 miles, the hard rain stopped, but then it got warm and muggy. Up ahead in the pic below was one of a few of the functioning water fountains.

The sidewalk and street are still wet from the rain.

Lake Calhoun as the weather cleared up.

Lake Harriet bandshell up ahead
The clouds cleared out and it was actually a nice end to the run.  We logged 13 miles in 2:07, but it was just nice to talk and BS with my buddy for a few hours.

The family and I are going camping this weekend and I'll take another crack at running 20 miles. After this weekend, only 3 weeks until Grandma's marathon. Also after this weekend, I'll share my goals for the marathon!


Sunday, May 22, 2011

Adventure Peak!

Saturday was a family fun day. Since the forecast was for rain, we packed a lunch and drove to Edina, MN. to Adventure Peak! It's a huge building with a gymnasium, kids inflatable bouncer, swimming pool, indoor track, and an enormous play structure (pics below). This thing is a MONSTER! The people you can actually see in pics are adults. This thing is like 50 feet tall. They also have a small area for babies and toddlers, which is nice for our 13 month old. Jesa (our 4 1/2 year old) and I crawled, climbed, jumped, slid, squeezed, and rolled for a few hours and then called it quits.  

left side

right side
Later today I have a man date with my buddy Ryan for a long run in Minneapolis. I'll be back later with pics.

Congrats to Jeff @ Dangle the Carrot who finished Ironman TX yesterday in 12:19. Great Job!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Dear Brain...

I have a favor to ask. Can you just shut down when I run? or lie to my legs and tell them everything is OK and the pain you're feeling is nothing to be concerned about. How ever you want to do it, it's up to you, but any negative thoughts you have about what I'm doing to my legs and lungs just keep them to yourself!
It's just that this marathon training has been going pretty well and I'm hoping to do something above even my own expectations when I started training some 14 weeks ago. I know that I've had a minor training set back lately, but if you do this one thing for me, I'll never ask for anything from you again.



Monday, May 16, 2011

20 - 4 = 16

I guess it was a self-fulfilling prophecy when I said in my last post that I didn't want to jinx myself. I had one of my two 20 mile runs scheduled this weekend and I didn't get it done. I did 16 miles. I told myself when I started marathon training this year I wouldn't beat myself up if I didn't train hardcore and for the most part I haven't. Mostly because everything has been going so well. But yesterdays long run brought me back to reality and humbled me a little.  As you can see in pic below, it was sunny and in the mid 50's. What you can't see is the wind. It was howling out of the north at 15-20mph. At times I had a hard time hearing my headphones. I guess I should have gone to church.

Pray for me!
Below is a pic I took (but zoomed in little) last weekend, but it shows the hill that I ran yesterday, twice. I mapped out a 10 mile route and then would simply turn around and run back. Easy peezy, lemon squeezy, right? Not so much. In the pic below, I was running with the wind from mile 6-10 and at one point a paper cup blew past me going the same direction. What you don't see in this pic is the hill I had to run up to to get to this point. I guess that's why they call it Apple VALLEY.
Pilot Knob road - facing south (this pic is from 5/8)
Now here is a pic I took yesterday coming back, miles 10-14, into the god forsaken wind. I was actually feeling pretty good at this point. My time at the 10 mile turnaround (and water bottle fill up) was 1:22. But the next 4 miles kicked my ass.

Pilot Knob road - facing north
 Another indication of the wind, the reeds on the lake were leaning over. Subsequently, I felt like I was leaning the other direction into the wind.
Anyway, around mile 16 I was coming down a hill (big suprise) when I decided to step off the spacious path and run on the grass. I guess I was hoping to lessen the pounding my legs were taking on the downhills, but that turned out to be a bad idea. As I tried to step to my right onto the grass, my left foot didn't quite make it all the way over. I stepped on the side of where the path is higher than the grass and turned my left leg/knee. I didn't fall, but I had a little "hitch in my giddy-up". I walked for a minute, then tried to run, and it kind of hurt. I decided that I didn't want to push it and called my lovely wife and daughters to come pick me up. As they pulled up about 15 minutes later (I probably covered another mile between my walking/running), I hear my 4 year old daughter yelling out the window, "DADDY! Are you alright?!, Are you bleeding!?" That's her way of gauging a "real" injury. I told her I was fine and she seemed a little disappointed, but concerned for my well being non-the-less. We went home, I took an ice bath, followed by a shower, and had lunch with my girls.
The reeds and trees are not supposed to be bent like that.
I was feeling a little down after my disappointing run yesterday as I told myself not to "skimp" any of my long runs during my marathon training. Then my friend emailed me this morning about a runner who died at a local marathon and I thought to myself that I have no reason to complain. Sad story as the guy was 35 years old and ran a time of 3:14:39 (BQ). I look at yesterdays disappointing run as a small blessing, it got me to spend a little more time with my girls.

Feeling better! Suns out, guns out!
Anyway, I felt pretty good today on my 3 mile lunch time run today with no knee pain, so hopefully it was just a little "tweak" and no real damage was done. Also, it was nice and sunny today (and not so damn windy!).


Monday, May 9, 2011

Good new, Bad news

Good news:
  • I exceeded my expectations on my 18 miler.
  • Felt good most of the way.
  • Negative split (1:14, 1:13)
  • only one very small blister
  • Got some decent pics along the way.
Bad news:
  • It rained the last 5 miles.
  • When it wasn't raining, it was windy.
  • Spent 2 1/2 hours running on Mothers Day.

As you can see, the good outweighed the bad during my 18 miler on Sunday, but taking time to run 18 miles on a day that should be devoted to my wife has me feeling guilty. However, my awesome wife understands that putting in the miles and time for a marathon is important to me and I love her even more for that. 
Anyway, here's some pics I took along the way. 

2:26:54. 8:10min/mile pace.

Mile 5-6. overcast and windy.

Mile 7-8. straight into the wind

Mile 13-14. Lightly raining now. A park my daughter likes.
Mile 15-16. raining harder. winding hill heading home.

Mile 16-17. Home stretch.
It's hard to tell, but I was trying to take pics of some of the hillier area's (except the park), but the pics don't show how hilly it really was. Also, the last few pics don't really show how rainy it really was on Sunday. In any case, I have my first (of 2) 20 mile run this coming weekend and hope that my last few long runs weren't a fluke.

I'll use the next 3 weeks to decide what my goals for Grandma's Marathon will be. I will categorize them in an A, B,C format. A: Best race ever, perfect conditions, exceeded expectations. B: Good race, meet secondary goal C: survive, but had fun. I will share finish time goals after the next 3 weeks.


Saturday, May 7, 2011


We even have the same shoes....ahhh (barf!)

I indicated on a prior post that my wife and I spend a lot of time together, well here are some bullet points of  a usual day...

  • We commute to work together, which involves us dropping the girls off at daycare.
  • We work for the same company.
  • Our desks at work are 25 steps apart.
    This is the view from my desk. My wife sits by the turquiose wall next to the pillar.
  • If the weather is crappy outside, we workout before lunch together. Side by side on the treadmills.
  • After we workout, we eat lunch together, usually at her desk.

    We almost never eat out for lunch.
  • When we are done with work, we go pick up the girls together.
    Our vehicle is older and dirtier (2 qualities I used to look for in a woman).
  • After we get home, we have certain duties that we each do. I ususally get started on making supper and she starts laundry (she doesn't care to cook and I don't like folding laundry). It works.

Suprisingly, all this time together has never been an issue. We haven't always carpooled together, but have worked and eaten lunch together for most of the last 7 years. I hear from co-workers and others that they could never spend all that time together, but really it's not that big of a deal. I enjoy having her close by at work, besides, it lets me keep an eye on those IT department nerds and UPS drivers from stealing her away.

I also think we've made a couple of cute kids who have the best Mother!

To be perfectly honest, I do read all your blogs for motivation and inspiration, but all the motivation I need is never more than 25 steps away. Love you Dear!


Thursday, May 5, 2011

"The Voice" has a Triathlete?

Anyone been watching "The Voice"? I only bring this up because one of the contestants is from Minnesota and he sang the national anthem at my very first triathlon. He also completed the sprint tri, LifeTime Fitness Triathlon, that morning in 2009. I'm happy to report that he was only one of a very few people that had a slower swim time than I did that day. His name is Tim Mahoney and he's a staple in the Minneapolis music scene. I actually have a couple of his songs on my Ipod and my wife and I have watched him play live at local watering hole some years ago (pre-kids of course).

So there you have it, if your partial to musicians who also happen to be triathletes, Tim Mahoney is your guy. Oh, and I almost forgot, at the live show that we watched him at, during one of the breaks, we stood next to each other at the urinals in the bathroom. That makes us Piss Pals!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

April has only 30 days?

Apparently I can't read a calendar as on my last post I put that I would be doing a 16 miler on Sunday April 31. As it stands, it might as well have been January 91st because it actually snowed on Sunday and Monday. The snow was not measurable, but flakes were flying.
Needless to say, I didn't run outside. So I did something I've never done...I went to the gym! I'm not a member of any gym, but I did get a one day pass. It was actually at the community center, so there wasn't the usual hardbodies and sexy babes like these...

But rather something like this...

Anyway, I was supposed to do 16 miles, but after a steady of diet of fajitas, pizza, and cupcakes over the weekend, I was only able to squeeze out 13 miles. I did manage about an 8:30 pace overall, but I had to take a few breaks. Here's how my 13 miles of treadmill running went .

3 miles: 25 min.
Pee and gas break
6 miles: 50 min.
Poop break
4 miles: 33 min.

It wasn't 16 miles, but it'll have to do and, I'm not up to date on gym etiquette , but I'm pretty sure Agnes and Edith wouldn't have appreciated some of the lethal flatulence I had to get rid of in the locker room.

I'm starting to get a little restless to put my fitness to the test. I've been reading some blogs of people that have run marathons already; Boston, Oklahoma City, Eugene, etc. I hope I don't peak to early (I guess some sexual joke could be inserted here (oops, did it again), but I'll leave it alone).