Monday, November 10, 2014

Mad Mad City

Just got back from Madison, WI for another marathon. I think i have perfected the fly in, fly out marathon. I'll be sad to see these go. By my count, I have about 3 or 4 of these left. The rest of what I have left are really 3-4 day trips with all the stuff to see.

So what can I say about this race? I went for it. I knew my half marathon times were around my PR and i just ran a marathon 3 weeks ago. I knew I had a flat race with near perfect weather conditions. The result: went for it and hard.

I went out in about a 1:29 first half. This was on purpose. I had researched the course and to my lack of surprise, the marathon was very flat. But something happened at about mile 15. The course was very much NOT flat. and the wind was very much NOT calm.

I never saw a true elevation chart since none existed on the website and said there was no chart citing 'No major elevation change'. I guess i took that to mean it was flat (rather than there was no elevation data). Anyway, I went for it and hard the first half. I was thinking sub 3 hours the whole time. I also had a groin pull that was getting worse by the mile. But this wasn't going to stop me....

Well it did stop me. Along with the wind and the hills (and the fact that I went for it so hard the first half). I finished the second half in about 1:37. Oh well.

So I really don't regret anything. I went for glory and came up short. It would have probably been a better strategy to do what I did in Louisville and coast the first 3 miles and then let the race come to me (rather than being aggressive on purpose). Coming up next for me: groin pull rehab. And a few more halves followed by a destination (and a biggie) marathon, DISNEY!

Sunday, October 26, 2014

That Just Happened

Just got back from running the 2014 Hallowed Half Marathon in Wake Forest. Very happy to report my very first #1 overall finish. Happy that it was not just out of 30 too (for the record, 317 runners today).

Plenty to be excited about. Finished a strong, negative split marathon last week in Detroit somewhere in the 3:08's and i have Mad City in two weeks. I've been saying that I would do the battleship half marathon for about 12 years now, and i will finally be doing it next Sunday. Good times!

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Status Check

With just one triathlon race left this year, I am getting a bit reflective. 2012 was CLEARLY my best
year ever (qualifying for Age Group National Championship (Olympic Distance), second appearance in the Long Course National Championships, first international competition). 2010 has a claim to a very good year (fastest Olympic ever at 2:20 with a sub 40 10k). But what about this year?

It's been a mixed bag I would say. I never had a passion for biking (despite getting my equipment to elite status). Had ups and downs, but managed to stay in the top 3 of my age group most of the time. I had equipment failures, swim fails (both at White Lake actually). But i have to say that i still am (all in all) really enjoying triathlons. I decided this year not to worry as much about the competitive side and let it fall where it will. And according to my USAT scores, they are just a little bit off my 2012 scores (by like .15 or so). And hell, with a decent showing tomorrow (and by my bike not breaking and the swim buoy not moving at White Lake) i bet my scores would surpass the best ever! So who knows. As long as I am healthy and feel like i am being competitive, i think i'll enjoy this for a while to come.

After Pinehurst this weekend, thus begins the real season... half/full marathon season! I don't know how many more seasons i will have free (without kids, etc) so i am trying to really enjoy it. And man am i going all out!

Between now and end of winter, i will be doing 6 half marathons, 3 marathons including Detroit, Mad(ison) City, and DISNEY! I have some big plans for the spring/summer too. I'll be crowding the triathlon season 2015 with a couple/few marathons.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Just a Thought

Was out on a big run yesterday and saw someone with a Paris Marathon shirt. Got me thinking... I WANT TO DO THAT!

Started to think about what is next after the US marathons are complete (or maybe even before they are). Europe! How about this for a list of European marathons:

  1. Dublin, Ireland
  2. London, England
  3. Paris, France
  4. Berlin or Munich, Germany
  5. Rome, Venice, Florence, Italy
  6. Vienna, Austria
  7. Amsterdam, or The Hague, Netherlands
  8. Prague, Czech Republic
  9. Stockholm, Sweden
  10. Istanbul, Turkey

Then the International 'Other's:

  1. Great Wall Marathon, China
  2. Big Five Marathon, South Africa
  3. Sydney, Australia or Rotorua Marathon, New Zealand
  4. Somewhere in South America
  5. And why not, the Anarctic Marathon to complete 7 continents

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Mad About Detroit

Hitting the triathlons pretty hard this summer and really enjoying it. I think my knee is gradually improving and certainly isn't bad enough to not race. Going to give a try to something called 'Dry Needling' which is basically acupuncture but somehow more Western.

I plan on continuing to do triathlons through the early fall and then transition to half marathons. From there, I will be doing 2 fall marathons! Detroit in October and Mad City (Madison Wisconsin) in November. Really excited about knocking these out. Once done, I'll only have 17 left I think. Starting to wonder a little about what I will be doing after this whole thing is over... Not sure. I will have to slow down a little as I get closer to the end due to the fact that the marathons I want to do tend to cluster on the same weekend or two in each season. So i may do 3 this year, 3 next year and then 2 per year after that. Good times.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Go Far in Far-go

State #32 is now in the books and it was auoww so fun. Fargo, ND is an interesting place. You get the feeling that this small sleepy town woke up about 9 months ago and is a good ol'e fashion boom town.

Despite its unfortunate geography (middle of no-where factor is high with this one), the people are friendly and the town quirky.

A lot of cities have train tracks... but I don't remember ever seeing a city with train tracks in it's downtown...circling the town...with multiple trains running many times per hour. It certainly made getting around town interesting. You have to learn quickly where there are bridges for you to get around the trains (and where you cannot).

The race was good for me in my opinion. The course was flat (which i generally don't care for) but it may have been just what the doctor ordered. I have been injured for about 2 or 3 months off and on with nagging ankle and knee pain. I haven't raced in months and I knew I wasn't going for a sub 3 hour pace. I just ran a smart race and hydrated (and tried to not let the constant sun beating down on me get to me). All in all, a good experience and a good time.

So what is next... going to be going on vacation in a few weeks and between now and then no races planned. I am going to continue to rehab my injuries (which are actually improving). Then I plan on doing some triathlons this summer. Going to stick to sprints and internationals again this year and try to just stay in shape and enjoy them. Next fall, maybe retry Michigan? Maybe Twin Cities? I do tend to cluster marathons.... so some more midwest may be on the way!

Saturday, April 19, 2014

56 Year Old Ankle

After missing a Michigan marathon and one other race, I ran a VERY cool half marathon in Albamarle, NC run completely in the pitch black (race started at 9pm!) The ankle was a little squishy (not quite healed). So I decided to see my sports podiatrist and my trainer and get some opinions. In looking at my x-rays, he let me know i have an ankle of a man 20 years older than me! He told me that I would likely be fine for another 20 years running, but it may be a good idea to stop spraining that ankle. Message received.

I have had some nagging injuries that have been plaguing me for months. My aforementioned ankle as well as my right knee. My ankle is easy enough to explain, but my knee has been baffling me. I have started to seriously stretch and do a good deal of muscle strengthening around the knee and have had little success. My latest thinking is that my right leg is a little shorter than my left. I researched it and also measured my legs (not always totally accurate, but worth a try). Well, I put a lift in my left heal, ran 12.6 today and I am pretty sure i feel a difference! I'll keep an eye on this to see for sure.

I have also been doing 2-a-days to get my ankle back in shape. I have spent the last few weeks doing that and I am starting to see a difference. First off, the ankle itself looks healthier (its been puffy in shape for years but now seems to be losing some puff). Also, I couldn't complete 8 miles without that 'squishy' feeling. Now I can do 12.6 with little discomfort.

As a result of all the injuries and rehab, I have decided to skip a few races I signed up for. First, was the Ann Arbor marathon. Looking back, i was not as close as I thought so no regrets there. I had previously missed a half marathon i signed up for due to illness before Ann Arbor. But since the moonlight half (which i probably shouldn't have run in retrospect) i have decided to skip the first 2 triathlons of the season for me (Belews Lake and next week's Beaverdam). I hate to miss them but i really need to get healthy and have not just a good season this season, but also take care of my old ankle/knee so i can run in years to come.

So as of now I am feeling pretty confident about Fargo in about 4 weeks. I may try to do a quick half the week before, but I think i've learned, don't sign up for stuff until you know you will be able to do it :)

Friday, March 28, 2014


So instead of getting ready for my trip to Michigan tomorrow to run in the Ann Arbor Marathon Sunday, I decided to sprain my ankle and not go. Literally have run Shelly Lake in Raleigh thousands of times. I totally spaced out and went off roading with just the left side of my left foot (not recommended). Clearly my ankle sprain during trail season this year has come back to bite me (should have been strengthening more, should have been working on it more, etc).

I really think i'm about 6 days from being able to run, so its not like i'm out of commission. In fact I am pretty sure I will go for a small bike ride this weekend. But running 15 feet causes some pain so a marathon would be a big mistake.

Lots of interesting stuff coming up though! I have decided to run Fargo in May. And between now and August I'll be doing 6 Intl tri's, 2 Sprints, a 50K bike, and an Aquathon. So all in all not too bad. There is an outside chance i May to Alaska this year (but as time goes on that looks iffy).

This all may work out for the best because I think i really want to run Detroit in September. The more i read about the place, the more i want to see it. So more posts to come....