March 25, 2014

The MudDogs Half Marathon

Traveled an hour and half south, to where most of the snow on road ways has melted, to Mount Pleasant. A half marathon is like a right of passage for this time of year. Usually a good tune up race, I try to train right through a solid race about a month before a marathon. In this case it aligns nearly perfectly.
About the one mile marker. Photo courtesy of The Winter Warrior Series FB page.

My last 4 weeks have been 62, 63, 55, 55. I'm pretty pleased with the consistency and where the workouts are at this point. I just needed some reassurance that things have been going smoothly even though a lot of running has been substituted on the treadmill because of this harsh winter. 

I wasn't disappointed, clearly I'm where I should be.

I arrived an hour early, grabbed my bib and proceeded to relax and get organized. The race venue was held at a local bar, with 10 or so full wall TV's, while people were mingling, I took care of my warm up. 3 miles around Central Michigan College. Quiet at 8:30 in the morning, I found solace on the open pavement. Upon my return to the car, there was clearly quite a crowd for this race as the huge parking lot was pretty much full.

In my utter confusion and scatter brained self, I didn't put on my racers like I would have for any race, and by the time I realized I was over at the start doing strides. Legs felt good. I was ready to go.

Miles 1-3: 
It was a mass start of the 5k, 10k, and half. Quite a few college aged kids shot out fast, and I just settled in behind. Two guys turned around at 1.5 (5kers), another was by himself  with a good 30 sec lead on us at 2 miles. At 2 miles I was with 3 other guys. Around 2.5 we turned in the wind and settled in just working with was was given.

Miles 4-6:
Faster miles mostly because we turned with the wind at our backs. The group of 3 pulled ahead of me like 5-10 sec, I felt it was just a bit too fast for me, I mean i was clicking off 5:5x's. The 10ker had turned around somewhere near 5k mark all by himself. It was just the 4 of, wind to our backs and mostly clear dirt roads.

Miles 7 and 8:
Another turn around put us back into the wind, a cross wind. At this point I could see i had about a minute on the person in back of me. I just tired to settle in after the turn around and not loose much to the guys in front of me. One guy dropped off from the other two and fell back to me. Another turn around and we were on our way back.

Miles 9-10.5
These were definitely the toughest miles. The guy I caught up to had dropped off, so i was left alone to battle the 15mph winds, and gusts. Miserable is how i describe it. Lost a lot of time to the two guys in front of me.

Miles 11-13.1:
I made a quick glance back at around 11. I had 10 sec or so on someone, and he looked smooth. He managed to pass me soon after. I didn't fall apart at the end like I thought i might. I held it together, and fought the wind to the bitter end. The guy that passed me beat me by 10 sec, the top two were a minute ahead.

4th OA
2nd AG

A solid race to tell me where I'm at. 

26 days. The bulls-eye is starting to slowly come into focus.

68 miles this past week with the race.  

March 6, 2014

The Sweaty Runner

Across much of the eastern United States we've experienced some of the coldest and most harsh weather in the past 30 years. It hasn't been all that fun for us runners, never mind those people who work outside nearly everyday.

I think I did fairly well through December and January where, here in the Northern Lower Peninsula we saw 2 feet plus of snow and daily negative degree windchill. I motivated myself enough to take the pup out day after day braving the subzero windchill's, but it reached a point where I was wearing 15lbs of clothing. 

I'm not saying I dislike winter, it's a great time of the year, but this winter in particular I have really started to cringe. I watch the weather every morning and it just sounds like a broken record, "More cold weather headed for northern Michigan, sub-zero temps, and blustery wind...." blah, blah blah..Enough already!

So I found solace on the treadmill, or dreadmill whatever you want to call it. I've learned to embrace. I gave in and bought a gym membership so I could continue to work on speed, and tune into my marathon pace. I also been able to catch up on TV shows, like Burn Notice, Breaking Bad, White Collar, House of Cards and some older shows like The 1400....Ok you see where this is going much of my running time has been spent on the treadmill.

It got me wandering today. Do people really want to see ME? The sweaty runner by 30 minutes in, continue to plod along for another 30-60 minutes. I mean I know I sweat a lot, and I think I sweat even more when I'm inside under conditions of 70+ degrees with nearly no air flow, this runners got a marathon coming up, give me a break! 

Puddles form, yeah it's disgusting. I do my best to wipe up after I'm done, but I think those gym rats are still staring at me, thinking to themselves, " WOW! Disgusting. How can someone let themselves get so out of control?"

Ehhh, whatever. Gym rats can suck it!

Wait am i now a gym rat?

 I did 13 miles on the treadmill today. It was a great workout, with marathon pace miles, and half marathon pace miles. Yes, I was coated in a thick layer of sweat, but it felt good. 

The way I see it, my body is pretty efficient at cooling itself, I may look disgusting, but when you see a smile on my face after an hour or more on the treadmill, you might just want to look the other way, cause I'll be back again soon for another heart pounding workout soon enough!

So embrace the treadmill, ignore that sweaty runner next to you, and RUN MORE!