Tuesday, May 25, 2010

5 days to go

In five days I'll be running the Madison marathon, it seems like forever since I started my training. I'm not nervous yet but expect sleeping Saturday night will be tough. My biggest concern for race day so far is being properly fueled without over doing it.

Yesterday I did 8 miles starting at 8:30am. I went out slow and never picked the pace up from just under a 10 minute pace. Turned out the temperature was 85 F when I got back in the house, I'm glad the forecast for Sunday is much cooler. I'll be resting and hydrating all week with only 9 more miles to run this week.

Once the marathon is over I'll be switching back to cycling more especially since the boys are asking to go ride. Zack made me commit to a date that we can ride into Madison again.

Short post today, gotta get the boys to school.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Porch Surprise

The doorbell rang this afternoon and I got a pleasant surprise when I opened the door. UPS had left me a package. I should clarify that it shouldn't have been a surprise, since I ordered it last week, but since I had forgotten, it was a surprise.

Here is my porch surprise: A Gu Energy Sampler.

I typically use flavors like Chocolate, Espresso, and the previous holiday special Chocolate Mint, but I wanted to try some fruit flavors. This sampler gives a wonderful way to try out all the flavors. And some extra Gu brand items to try as well. I think I will like the Jet Blackberry, so that will probably be one of my first choices to try. I'll post back with my favorites.

For those of you who may have already tried and love Jet Blackberry there is another special on the Gu website, a Jet Blackberry 24-pack with a t-shirt from American Apparel. I have many American Apparel t-shirts and love the fit and fabric. They are all made in the USA.

And here's a cute picture of Zack in front of a recent spring shower rainbow. It was actually a double rainbow, but this one was hard to capture.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

20 Miles on Mother's Day

Setting my alarm for 6am sounded fine until it was midnight and I was just getting to bed. It was a fire call kept Jen and I up. Even a call that turned out to be nothing but drive out, sit blocking traffic, drive back to the station took an hour maybe more.

So at 6am I was up and out the door in 20 minutes even with a last minute gear change. It was 36 degrees but sunny so I went with shorts, a heavy short sleeve shirt, arm warmers, fleece hat and glove liners. Since I would be out for over 3 hours I took my Amphipod belt with a plan to refill at mile 10. Of course both my Garmin and iPod shuffle went along.

The run was an out and back on the rail trail, not much to say it went just as expected. I got out to my turn around point to find the water fountain missing. Okay I know it's all the same pipe but public bathroom sink water just makes me not want to drink, I topped up anyway and headed home.

Same trail different season.

I detoured once back in town to get the hours for the restaurant Jenny wanted to eat at for Mother's day brunch. I should have checked the menu, turns out they no longer have brunch type food. We bailed out heading instead to the coffee and chocolate shop for breakfast and hung out playing games on our iPod Touches. Very much not "doing it all outside" but we all had fun, some warmer weather would be nice to lure the boys back into outdoor activities. Zack is ready for a Planet Trek repeat after I pointed out the sign for Pluto was back in place near the trail.

All my runs now until the marathon will seem short by comparison. I'm confident I'll finish and am shooting for a 4:15 or better despite all the advice against time goals for a first marathon. Jenny will be riding her bike to meet me a few point along the marathon course so I hope to have better pictures for that post.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

New Header Photo

Finally I'm getting around to putting up a new photo for the header on this blog. Seems like it's already out of date. We all went several weeks ago to Blue Mounds State Park and took pictures and hiked. The kids did well on the hike.

Then they wanted to climb one of the towers. On the way we spotted a shelter canopy that looked rather odd. After descending the tower we took a closer look and it was not only crooked, but really short. I don't know if this was a strange design or they ran out of lumber when they were making it. Did they not follow measure twice, cut once? It gave us all a laugh and we headed home after stopping for some snacks along the way.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Lake Monona 20K

So I guess Blogger hates me today so photos at the top.

Way back in December I saw an ad for this race, only $20 before end of 2009. I talked Jen into joining me and we signed up together. Jumping ahead four months last Saturday was race day. At 7:25 my alarm went off and panic follows, race time is 9am and I had 4 hours of sleep. Jen and I get the boys up, dressed and fed in record time. While Jenny went to drop them off with my parents I loaded her old Cannondale mountain bike on the Subaru. Due to a number of things Jen could not run, but she did ride most of the course in reverse to see me as I ran. Once we got rolling I calmed down as it was clear we had plenty of time.

We arrived with time to spare and made our way to the park. I needed a timing chip and restrooms. Jen was looking for a map of the route. I got my chip and we struck out on the rest, the lines at the porta-potties were too long it could wait. We made our way to the back of the starting area and then nerves sent me back to wait in line. I made it back for the race announcements and national anthem, and then we were off. There were 811 finishers and I think I had lined up behind 800 of them. No big deal chip timing evens that out right? Well it has in every other race but I guess "gun start" meant a single start time for everyone. This didn't really matter I had come to do a training run while I supported Jen in her first race over 10K.

So I didn't like the back row, I'm not fast but I'm faster than the back row. It took a bit for the pack to spread to where I could move up and I grabbed a few spots on every tiny hill that seemed to slow others down. Mile 1 went by in about 9 flat and I thought "too fast slow down", I was trying to slow down but continued to see my pace was in the high 8's on my
Garmin. My big worry was I'd blow up before the end at that pace. I had skipped the first water stop since I was carrying my 12oz Amphipod bottle but stopped at mile 5ish to top it off. I passed by Jen without seeing her at the Monona Terrace. In my defense I thought she was only going to be at mile 10 and I was trying to maintain an even pace. At the 10K point I decided I felt fine and the near 9 minute pace would be fine. I stopped checking my watch and just ran. I also kept passing people which is way better than getting passed. At mile 10 I spotted Jen and swung by for a kiss as she was taking photos. Shortly after leaving the park Jen came by on her bike and yelled "looking good" which scared me since I didn't hear her approaching. At mile 11. something I thought I was done when the wind hit me but it ended quickly and I kept going. In the end I had passed about 475 people and was glad to be done.

We headed to the car to drop the bike and change shoes before heading for the food. We may as well have just stayed at the car because the line was too long and we bailed. Salad bar at Whole Foods and a quick stop at Berkeley Running Company instead to look for Five Fingers for Jen then we headed home.

I wrapped up my weekend with another run Monday morning. 14 miles in 2:11 to start my final big week of marathon training. Actually I never figured out if the long run begins or ends the week but it doesn't matter now. 20 miles this Sunday then taper until race day.