Monday, June 30, 2008

The most beautiful of days...

This morning was a beautiful morning. 61 degrees. No wind. Sun just coming up at 5:45. Absolutely fantastic to run in. Jenn and I were pretty slow, but it was worth it. 42 minutes and some change.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

An afternoon 4 miler

Had to work today, so I headed in on my bike. Wonderful day for a bike ride. Wished I had time for a longer ride and/or longer run. 4 miles only. Had dinner plans at friends. 40 minutes, just enjoying the beautiful day.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

26 down, 26 to go (yes, that's half way)!

Today I actually was able to join the TNT team for a Saturday training run. Met a couple of coaches for 5 miles before the team run. But when the team run was supposed to start, a huge thunderstorm came through and forced us to cancel the team run. But a few of us braved 7 miles before a second storm hit. We all quickly packed up and left.

But with my marathon streak on the line, I had to keep going. But I was smart enough to drive to a nearby gym and finish the last 14 miles on a treadmill.

Had a great run. On the treadmill I began at 7 mph, and picked up .1 for the next 12 miles. At mile 24, I added .1 mph every 1/2 mile, picking it up to 9.2 over the last 1/2 mile or so.

Felt great all the way through. The pace change really felt great. But I can't wait to actually make it through a team run.

26 marathons down, 26 to go. 3:53:09.

Friday, June 27, 2008

4 miler

A little disappointed in myself for not getting up this morning. Headed out after work for a casual 4 miler. Trying not to do anything hard, as I have a marathon scheduled for tomorrow. Just enjoying the evening again.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Evening 4 miler

Headed out about 8 pm for a nice slow run. 38 minutes. Really just enjoyed the evening.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Working late 4 miler

Every once in a while, I get the great idea to stay late at work, grabbing a quick run and dinner at 8 or so in the evening (makes for a nice break in the day if I am staying past midnight). So this is what I did today. Little over 32 minutes. Feeling pretty tired after yesterday.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

4 and stairs

I failed to make it out of bed this morning. And the afternoon was busy, so I couldn't take off at 4 and run before my Tuesday softball ritual. So I headed to the gym at lunch and hit the treadmill for a fairly quick 4 miler. About 30 minutes (forgot my watch).

Headed to the track for some stair work right after work. Struggled to get 8 sets in. Lunch run really killed me.

Monday, June 23, 2008

A warm 4 miler with Pavlov

Tonight Pav really wanted to go on a run. I obliged. 90 degrees. She died. 4 miles in 34:46. I felt good, although my legs are a little sore from the fast run this weekend.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

A slow 4 miler with Jennifer

Nothing to report. 43:25. 125 heart rate average.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

4 time defending champion!!!!!

I'll spoil the surprise. I won.

I headed to the start line about 6:15 for a 6:30 start. There were 2 or 3 runners at the start. "I can take them" I thought. As we stood waiting, 7 more showed, bringing the total to 10. "I can win this."

I headed out fast. My goal was to scare off any competition from even going with me. I was successful. At the turn around (out and back course), I easily had 2 minutes on my next competitor. I picked up the pace, knowing that I was right on pace for a P.R.

I kicked it in with about a half mile left. The course was fairly hilly, so I had little left. But just enough. 19:43. A Personal Best.

4 more miles that afternoon to complete my daily 4 mile requirement.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Getting ready for the big race

Tomorrow is the "5k Legal Runaround," a small (very small, very very small) 5k run held in conjunction with our Kansas Bar Association Annual meeting. The typical entrants are either attorneys or family members.

Why do I care about this event? A little history might help. 4 years ago, I entered my first 5k Legal Runaround. With about 20 entrants, I ran the first 2.9 miles with a high-school soccer player. We chatted and had a good time. But with about a quarter mile left, I gave in to the urge and challenged him to a race. Knowing I would lose, it was still pretty exciting. I lost, but a second place finish I had (albeit out of 20 people). I might add that the 5k course was about 4.2 miles.

3 years ago I entered my second 5k Legal Runaround event. That year it was held in Vail, Colorado. I entered this year to win. I headed out (0ut and back course), and about 1.8 miles in (still on the way out) I made the executive decision to turn around. Those in the lead pack with me also turned around. We headed back, but to find that others had turned around earlier (closer to the 1.55 mile mark). I had some catch-up work to do. I pushed on, and with less than 1/10 of a mile to go, I passed a 19 year old girl for the victory. Cheap, I know, but she ran about a half mile less than I did. My first (and only ever) victory as an adult.

2 years ago the race was canceled. Still champion.

1 year ago the race was canceled. Still Champion.

Obviously, I am a defending champion with a lot on the line. I better start training.

So today, I headed out for a 4 mile run (right before lunch). 29:12. Not a bad pace. Need to run much faster tomorrow.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

A hung over 4 miler

Yesterday I headed to Topeka for our annual bar meeting. Last night I stayed up drinking and playing Golden Tee until 1:30 a.m. Today, I will be playing golf all morning/afternoon, and headed to a formal dinner tonight, followed by another reception.

So the only time I had today was a 8 a.m. run. A little slower than I had hoped, but another 4 miles down. 39:19.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Treadmill 4 miler

Today I was feeling pretty good. The marathon yesterday seems to have had little impact. A little hungry today. A good night sleep last night helped.

I headed to the gym about 11:30 for a quick 4 mile run. 29:49. Heart rate was fairly under control, despite that I picked up the pace over the last two miles. Trying to get ready for this Saturday's 5k race. More on that later.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

25 down, 27 to go!

I woke up at 3:15, ready for a 3:45 marathon start time. I actually felt good getting up and getting going this morning. I helps to just get up and go, as opposed to snoozing and putting it off.

I headed out for a 11 mile loop (actually, 5.5 out and 5.5 back). Out with my reflective vest and my headlamp. Still pretty dark. I stopped by the house to refill fluids. Doing very well. Holding a 9 min/mile pace.

The second 11 felt just as good. Temperature was in the mid 60's but the humidity wasn't all that bad. Keeping up with my 9 min/mile pace.

Stopped off for a bathroom break at about mile 19, which caused me to add in a mile or so.

So with only 4 miles to go, I stopped at a local fire station to refill fluids. Headed back out to finish up the run.

Really, really felt good. Really felt like I could have gone 35 or 40 miles without a problem. That's a good feeling. 3:58:54.

I was at work by 9:00 a.m. Not a bad morning.

25 down, 27 to go.

Monday, June 16, 2008

A nice relaxing run

Came home from work, started dinner (pizza dough), and headed out with the dog for a 4 mile run. Very nice evening. The rain today kept the temperatures down.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Lazy Sunday

I intended to get this week's marathon out of the way this morning. But sleeping just felt so good. Skipped out and got my run in this afternoon.

P.S. - today I celebrated my first father's day. I'm now free to announce that my first child is expected January 13, 2009. Very, very, very excited.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Evening 4 miler

Headed back home this afternoon. Managed a 4 mile run before dinner. Not a bad run. Nothing fast, but nice.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Weird morning

When I got home last night, I realized that Jennifer's car was left in the street. Normally not a problem, but with recent flash floods, we should have known better. Heavy storms, including tornadoes in the area, left Jennifer's car with about 3 inches of water in the floor. Not good.

So before I left town for a weekend meeting, I spent an hour or so getting her car to the dealership to get checked out. Headed to the gym for a quick 4 miler and then to work. Soon headed out to Kansas City for a weekend meeting.

Good run. A little tired. I know I really need to be stretching better. Tried today, but still need more.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Quick run before a Awards Dinner

I had to attend a local bar function tonight, so I had just a little time to get in a run after work and before heading out for the dinner. 4 easy miles. 37 minutes (probably 33, but heavy, heavy traffic). Feeling a little tired.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

24 down, 28 to go!

I didn't plan real well this week, which left me with little time to run my weekly marathon. Today, I headed out of work an hour or so early and made it to the gym by 5:15, just in time to pick out a treadmill under a fan. That is really the best I could ask for.

I employed a strategy of variation, something that you normally don't get on a treadmill. Each mile I would adjust the incline/decline by 1%, going from -2% to 2%. This kept it interesting, but also wore me out.

I lost a ton of water sweating. I drank 2 bottles in the first 20 miles. Then in the last 6 miles (and in the 5 minutes afterwards), I drank 4 more bottles. I was dying!

All in all 4:01. Not too bad. Legs felt good. But I was really really hungry and thirsty. Looking back on the day, a small yogurt for breakfast, a small salad for lunch, and not enough fluids all day. A recipe for disaster. But disaster avoided. Luckily, Jennifer had a very large water and 2 pizzas waiting for me when I got home. I tore that pizza up!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

4 miles and a roudn of golf

I had little time today. Needed to get an early run in, so that I could skip out and play golf during the afternoon. No, I'm not any good. No, I have no time to commit to golfing (see for reasons why). But I enjoy it. Good run this morning of around 32 minutes. Felt good. Trying to loosen up a bit. I'm in a slow running funk and my legs are getting sore.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Pavlov's birthday

For Pavlov's birthday, we celebrated with a 4 miler. 41:57. Very enjoyable.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

I finally biked!

Ok, so it was on the trainer while I watched TV with Jennifer. But I still pedaled. 10 miles. Not easy when I haven't ridden in a while.

Ran 4 miles after the ride in 31:30. I'm just sore. Add the mountains, the softball, and the yard work, and I need a break.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Late Saturday Run

I've been working in the yard/garage all day. Lifting things that make me sore. Bending ways that make me sore. Basically I've been a manual labor slacker and am paying for it. But I managed to get a 4 mile run in about 11:00 p.m. Not a bad run. Nice weather.

Friday, June 6, 2008

4 slow miles

I am not recovered from last weekend. 4 miles. All I could do is maintain an easy pace.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

More storms

Tonight I wanted to run outside, but we were in a serious tornado watch/warning. I opted for the safety of the gym. 4 miles, 32 minutes exactly. Not bad.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

I hurt

Tonight I ran 4 miles with Jennifer. It was not without pain.

Softball. Softball equals pain. Why? Sprinting. Apparently my ultramarathon running legs don't cope well with the 60 foot sprint to first base. So I hurt. Very sore in the hips and quads. Not prepared for that.

So I took it easy for this 4 miler. Not a bad run, but probably 43 minutes or so.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008


I was too lazy to get up this morning to put a real run in before my softball game tonight. So I headed to the stadium to get a stair workout in. What seems to be working well is incorporating the stairs into the run. Run a couple of laps, do a couple stairs, continue on the run. It keeps some variety going and makes it seem more true to form.

10 sets of stairs. I can tell I am not recovered.

Monday, June 2, 2008

A tough 4 miler

I was pretty sore getting up this morning. But I knew I only needed 4 miles. And the weather is beautiful. Watching the sunrise over the mountains at 6:00 a.m. in 40 degree temperature is wonderful. Slow, but a nice run.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

23 Down, 29 to go! - Steamboat Marathon

Today I ran the Steamboat Marathon. The race began some 25 miles outside of Steamboat, up a climb towards Hahn's Peak. This meant that the race officials bussed everyone to the start. This means that everyone is dumped off at the top of a mountain at 6:15 a.m., with just a touch of sunlight, in 34 degree weather, to wait for over an hour before the race began. Snow. This really wasn't so bad, especially where we could find some sunlight that wasn't blocked by the peaks. Really not a bad morning. But already you could tell with the clear skies that the sub 40 degree temperatures would stay around for long.

Without much warning, 7:30 hit and the gun sounded. We were off. Down a fairly steep incline for the first mile, quickly followed by a quick up towards the highest point of the race at mile 2. Mile 1 and 2 were run at 8:21 and 8:07 respectively. I was certainly trying to keep things under control.

Mile 2-3 saw a significant down hill. Now the pace could only quicken 8:17 total, only slowing at the foot of a very, very steep hill topping out around mile 4.

Mile 5-8 was the most significant downhill I have ever run. I would estimate an 800 foot loss in about 2.5 miles. Faster pace than I would have like, each mile there in the 7's.

Already, however, I could tell I was suffering. If you have been following my blog, you will realize that I have quite stupidly run 2 "marathons" in the past 9 days, this being my 3rd. With the difficulty of this course (discussed below), I really should have taken some time. Add to this the fact that the water stops were few and far between, I knew today would be a struggle. And I haven't even hit any of the real climbs.

Miles 9-12 were all rolling downhills. Legs are feeling sore already. I'm already thinking "I need to hit 13 so I can start counting down the miles." Not a good thing.

Mile 13 came with a much needed water stop, but also with the start of some additional climbing. The elevation chart above is deceptive. It really looks to be all downhill. But significant hills over 50 feet or less over short periods barely show on the map. But they show when you are faced with them. Miles 13, 14, and 15 all saw these types of hills.

Miles 16-20 were all again downhill (of course with rolling hills in between). My pace was slowing significantly. From 8:54 at mile 16, to 9:33 at mile 17, to 10:40 at mile 18. Mile 18 again saw a much needed aid station.
I was beginning to feel the dehydration.

Miles 19-23 were significantly uphill. It shows to be a steady incline, but the odd thing about this course is that the real climbs are so steep, that the lesser inclines and declines appear flat. Miles 19-23 were a struggle, mainly because I felt like I was on flat road or even downhills, but I was really consistently climbing.

Miles 23-25 were very tough. I was really struggling with the pain in my legs (the hills, the lack of recovery from my recent "marathons," the pounding of running downhill, and the dehydration). These miles were slow. And painful. I walked too often. I need to see mile 25. I knew I could run it in from there.

Sure enough, mile 25 appeared. The last mile was downhill. And you could see the finish line for probably 3/4 of a mile. I picked up the pace. The last 1.2 were run in 10:59, after a long walk break from 25-25.2. I steady 8 min/mile pace over the last mile really helped with the leg pain.

Then the finish line. The crowd was very supportive (one of the best I have seen). I felt like a real winner.
Total climb over 26.2 miles was 940 feet, according to my Polar HRM. Net elevation loss was over 1500 feet. Add the net loss to the gain, and the total elevation loss was somewhere around 2600 feet. Tough course. Add to this that the entire course was run over 6700 feet (8200 feet max), and it was very tough. Add to both of those a high temperature during the race of around 85 degrees, and this was probably the toughest marathon I have ever run.

All in all, I was pleased with my results. Despite running the first half in about 1:47, I placed 85th out of 315 finishers in a time of 3:55:11 for a pace of 8:59 per mile. Out of 184 men I finished 71st. The winning time for men was 2:36:02. For 25 to 29 year old men I was 9th out of 23 finishers.
Congratulations to Mike and Alan. For Mike I believe this was his 5th Marathon. He did a nice job, finishing in about the top half. Alan was celebrating his birthday. Way to finish a birthday (and did I mention he has run 3 marathons in the past year since his open heart surgery?).