A Long Run, Bowling, Pixar, Etc.

>> Sunday, January 31, 2010

• My legs are nicely sore from a bunch of squats / lunges / etc on Friday. So yesterday morning, I stretched them out on the rug. Actually, Kermit and I stretched together:

• Yesterday, I went on a 9 mile run. I called it off once, and then decided to get out there and enjoy the day later in the afternoon. I ran most of it easy, but I picked it up near the middle for a bit. I was out there for 1:04:40 enjoying a GREAT Minnesotan winter day!

• Because of that long run, my January running mileage is 85 miles. That’s a bigger month than ANY of the 12 months last year! I get out and ENJOY Minnesota in the winter!!

• Pharmie and I had an impromptu bowling date last night. She beat me at BOTH games, and she broke her all-time high score of 140 with her first game of 142! And of course I forgot my camera. D’oh. Nice work, Hunnie! (Oh, and THEN she beat me at Pinball, too - rubbing salt in the wound...)

• After bowling we had a date night with Pixar’s “Up.” So, basically, yesterday was a GREAT day!

• Finally, here are a few recent Examiner articles I wrote. Check these out:
     - Best Images of 09: The Run. Local triathlete, David Thompson made one of the “best of” images of 09. Sweet photos of triathletes in action!
     - Weight room routine to add power to your swim. I did this workout on Thursday. Oww. I’ll be doing it again!
     - Kara Goucher on the cover of the new Runner’s World. Yeah, you’ve probably all seen this - it’ll be out this next week. But dang, she’s CUTE!


Such a “Good Hurt!”

>> Saturday, January 30, 2010

That’s how I feel about Thursday’s workout (Jan 28th). More on that in a moment.

• Sat, Jan 16: Confidence-boosting 12 mile run. (Click here for more on that run.)

• Sun, Jan 17: Upper body workout (and core) at the Y.

• Mon, Jan 18: Nothing.

• Tues, Jan 19: Nothing.

• Wed, Jan 20: Lift, core, and some old PT leg exercises. (Because my "good" heel has been hurting in a weird spot, I figured I need to be strengthening my legs to help keep my form strong. So I’m starting to get back into the routine of doing some hip / knee / leg exercises. When I do that, I find I’m less prone to injury.)

• Thurs, Jan 21: Easy 4 miler in just under 30:00. A few 60 second pick-ups in there.

• Fri, Jan 22: Nothing.

• Sat, Jan 23: Winter Carnival Half Marathon: 1:28:55. Click here for my race report, click here to see my “video report” (I ran with my camera and took some videos along the way), and click here to see a slideshow of images I took along the way. (Oh, and click here to see how I defiled a Gatorade bottle just before the race...)

• Sun, Jan 24: Nothing. On Saturday after the race and on Sunday, Pharmie and I spent time with our families. Saturday was a party for my nephew’s second birthday, then a dinner with Pharmie’s family. Sunday was a fun meal with my family before we headed home.

My nephew Ian discovering that he likes red frosting!

• Mon, Jan 25: Nothing.

• Tues, Jan 26: Long weight lifting session! Good upper body and core work, and some PT leg exercises too.

• Wed, Jan 27: 1800 yard swim in 31:04 (1:43.8 / 100 yard average). This was my longest sustained swim in a while. I need to work on that speed, though...

• Thurs, Jan 28: 5.5 mile run in 38:52 (7:04/mile) and then a HELLISHLY GOOD upper body workout. I did this workout that is focused on adding power to your swimming. We’ll see... For the first part, I did 10, 8, 6, and 5 chin-ups. For the second part, I did 12, 12, 12, and 10 dips with a 2kg ball between my feet. For the third part, I did 100x10, 112.5x10, and 125x10. For the fourth part, I did 10, 9, and 8 reverse push-ups. And for the fifth part, I did 12, 16, 16, and 10 push ups with knee tucks. Again, click here to check out the details of the workout. It’s a good one to try!

• Fri, Jan 29: Lifting with legs and a little core. I did some leg presses, hammy curls, quad extensions, lunges, etc, as well as a few of my old PT leg exercises.

• Sat, Jan 30: Well, this workout has yet to be done, but I think Pharmie and I are heading to Lake Calhoun in Minneapolis to do a 10 mile run with 2 friends. Should be fun! Happy weekend everyone!!

Oh, and make sure to stop back next week as I start my “Does It Work?” series.


Friday Funny 73: Lemon Lime Gatorade Looks Like Pee

>> Friday, January 29, 2010

I mean, come on. Look at it:

OK, there’s more to this story.

Last Saturday, I was swigging on that same Lemon Lime Gatorade as I was headed to the Winter Carnival Half Marathon. I finished most of it and left the bit that remained in my car for the ride home after the race.

Nearing the start of the race, I found Guy, Jenny, Julie, and Beth. I soon realized I had to pee once again before running. I ran out to the porta-potties and realized that the line was pretty long, and that I’d be cutting it REAL close to the start of the race.

Yep. You’ve put 2 and 2 together. You know where this is going.

I ran 2 blocks back to my car parked in the ramp. I was parked next to a small SUV that provided some “shelter.” I hopped in the passenger side (of my car, not the SUV) and grabbed the Gatorade bottle with the few swigs left. I looked around, popped the top, and let flow.

It was grand.

I put the cap back on TIGHT, threw it on the floor of my car, and got back to the race site. I told Kris and Mark what had just gone down. They didn’t seem that surprised. (Umm, now that I think about it, I think shook Mark's hand. Shoot. Sorry Mark.)

When I brought the bottle back to put in our garage (filled with 1/3 Gatorade and 2/3 Steveade), Pharmie’s first words were words of pride: “Well, I’m happy you brought the bottle back so we could recycle it.” That’s my wife.

Look again. Here’s the bottle with the “concoction” noted above sitting in our garage:

(And before there are any jokes about the “Gatorade bottle test,” I can let you know that I was on the outside peeing in. So stop mocking me. And stop giggling.)

Stop back next week as I start my “Does It Work?” series. I’ll be writing about things I’ve tried and my results with them. Happy Friday!!


Nutrilite Health Assessment (Post 2 of 2)

>> Thursday, January 28, 2010

Remember “Post 1” back in November when Pharmie and I went out to California? We were sent out there by Nutrilite to get a very individualized health assessment, learn about their products, hear how they could fit into our life, and learn to be healthier all around. I got my assessment results back in early December, and I have the results to share with you all.

Grip Strength:
“Grip strength provides a very reliable assessment of your general upper body muscular strength. Grip strength can be improved with regular strength and/or weight training exercises.”

What? Below average? When I had the phone consultation with Dr. Duke, he told me I needed to start lifting weights. START! Wait, what have I been doing at the gym 2-3 days each week for the last 12 years? Damn. Ego blow.

Your basic “sit-and-reach.”

Redemption. When the lady was taking my reading, she was impressed! Ask Pharmie - she was there!

Resting Heart Rate:
Basic judge of cardiovascular fitness.

Sure, it’s in the “above average” to “good” range, but this was shortly after they drew blood and I got light-headed. Normally, my resting heart rate is just a wee-bit lower.

Body Composition:
Lean body weight vs fat weight.

Ya see that ladies? That’s right, I’m ranked BETTER than “desirable.” Damn skippy.

Waist to Hip Ratio:
Judge of coronary heart disease.

Again: better than “desirable.” Too bad I’m married. ;)

Blood Pressure:

Not bad. No problems here. Doc says there’s no risk of heart disease in my BP readings.

BCoR Score:
“The true designation of obesity is mandatory to determine whether or not you are at risk for developing chronic diseases. The most accurate determination of obesity not only includes BMI, but also percent body fat and waist-to-hip ratio. Exceeding that parameters given for any of the three measurements increases your risk for chronic diseases like heart disease, cancer, diabetes, etc.”

Smack dab in the middle of “Ideal.” Good.

Bone Density:
Down to -1 is OK, and above 0 is good.

So my reading of +0.2 is fine. All that running is paying off.

Blood work:
I’m glad Doc walked me through all of this, because I don’t know what any of this means:

I spent almost an hour on the phone with Dr. Duke as we talked about these results. He loved most things my body had to say. He thought my body composition and my BCoR score were both just about perfect. My heartrate, BP, and waist-to-hip ration were all good. But it was some stuff in the blood work that stood out a little. These following thoughts on the numbers are what I wrote down as Dr. Duke and I were talking; these are his thoughts on these readings:

Vit D: Good, not ideal. Above 37 is good, I’m 34. Still surprisingly good for where I live and this time of year. Not a problem.

Iron: Good. Normal (ideal) body stores should be 50-100. I’m 144. Current average in society is 250-350. So where I am is fine, and it might be higher because I work out hard.

GTT: Should be below 60. I was 17. This means I’m a lightweight when it comes to holding my liquor. No surprise there. When was the last time I had an alcoholic beverage?...

Folate: Good.

B12: Good.

Calcium: Good.

Insulin: This was the biggest foreseeable issue. A reading of 5 or below is good. I was 6.1, which is STARTING to show signs of insulin resistance, which CAN lead to Type 2 Diabetes. I was told this really isn’t a problem right now, but it’s something to watch. A reading of 10 is getting bad, and a reading a 20 means you will most likely develop Type 2 Diabetes within the next year. I’m not freaking out, and the doc said I really don’t need to change anything now, but this sure was an eye-opener for me.

Talking over my results, the Doc said that the biggest thing I needed to start doing was to up my veggie intake. No surprise there. My favorite vegetable is sausage.

He had a few recommendations for Nutrilite supplements that I could be taking. It wasn’t just a sales pitch - he just mentioned some things I could try. He kept saying he can't connect a supplement to reducing risk of diseases, but he can connect nutrients to reducing diseases. The things that I need more of could be found in 3 of their projects: Double X (their premier all-around supplement), concentrated fruits and veggies, and omega 3. They sent me each of those things to try out. I’ve been enjoying them but they ARE a little spendy, so I don’t know that I’ll be continuing them after I use up what they sent. (They do have a cheaper version of Double X [I forget what that is called], and I might start taking that after I run out of Double X.)

So the health assessment was quite interesting to me. It would be ideal if they had me start taking their supplements and start changing some of my eating habits (which I HAVE been slowly trying to do) and then fly us back to Cali to take our numbers all over again and see if we’ve been able to make any changes for the better. If I made the changes that Dr. Duke recommended and started taking the supplements he suggested, how big of a difference could that make? And how quickly would that change be noticeable? Or maybe I’m just hoping for another trip to Cali...

Anyway, thanks to Nutrilite for sending Pharmie and I out to see what they’re all about! Click here to see photos and hear about our time on the Nutrilite campus (when we got tested for all the things listed above), and click here to see a bunch of fun (non-Nutrilite related) photos from our trip back in November.


The Winter Carnival Half Marathon: In Video!

>> Tuesday, January 26, 2010

I just have 2 things to say before you watch the video:

1. It’s shaky. I know. I was running a flippin’ half marathon. Cut me some slack.

2. Even though it SOUNDS like I’m furiously having sex with a chipmunk between 2:10 and 2:26, I’m not. Really. (It was a squirrel. And it was consensual.)

Direct link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cl2Fif1L3Jc

(Jeez, don't I sound like a dope when I said "Takin' a video!" at the end? I'll blame that on being out of breath from just having ran a half marathon. That sounds like an acceptable excuse, right? Ha! And my last post is more detailed and will put some of this video in context, so take a look if you haven't seen that.)

I know the camera slowed me down a BIT during the race, but I don’t think it really took that much out of me. And it was a blast to run with it! I’ll be doing this again!

Also, I just put up a slideshow of some more images from the Winter Carnival Half Marathon. Click here (and scroll down just a little) to flip through the 18 images in the slideshow.


Winter Carnival Half Marathon

>> Monday, January 25, 2010

Or, “I Suppose 30 and Drizzle is Better Than Last Year (15 Below but Sunny)”

Or, “Running While Talking Videos”

Saturday was the St. Paul Winter Carnival Half Marathon. Last year, it was way below zero, and it was shortened to a long 10K (click here to see those photos). This year, it was about 50 degrees warmer: it was in the mid-30s and drizzling / sleeting:

Everything was covered in a fresh coat of ice when I got up. As I pulled up in downtown St. Paul, I could see the fresh coat of ice reflecting off the snow in the median:

I got my number, got my chip strapped to my shoe, and headed out to the porta-potties. I was there SOO early, that I was the first one in this potty:

Standard pre-race “on the potty” shot

I ran up and down the road for a block or two, and the ice didn’t seem to be collecting on the road too much! I had brought my YakTrax, but I really didn’t want to have to wear them for a race. I HOPED I’d be OK without them. The one bad thing I noticed out there is that there was some real wind beating me in the face. It seemed like the first 6.55 miles on the way out were going to be into a nasty wind. Great.

I got back inside and started looking for people I knew. Soon I ran into Guy, Jenny, Julie, and Beth. (Guy and Jenny did that trail race with Pharmie back in October, Julie is a new blogger, and I met Beth at the second “GW Splash and Dash” last summer.) We grabbed a quick photo:

Guy, Me, Jenny, Julie, and Beth. And yes, I have a fist coming out of my crotch - no teasing...

Soon after, I bumped into Mark and Kris too! I shared an embarrassing story with them, and I’ll tell you all about it this Friday as my “Friday Funny.” You’ll just have to wait...

I got outside, and Dave Ryan (local morning-show DJ) was working the crowd:

I ran into Kirt and Chad when I jumped into the pack near the start line. I’d never met Chad before, and he was a great guy. I pivoted around and got a shot of everyone getting ready to start:

Soon, we were underway!!!

Note: All the photos from this point on are from the digital camera that I ran with. But I didn’t take PHOTOS - I took a few short VIDEOS throughout the race. The full video will be up shortly, but in the meantime, below are some SCREENSHOTS from a bunch of short videos from the race. So that’s why the quality sucks.

My goal was to go out SLOW and REALLY ease into the race. On a GREAT day, I thought I might be able to break 1:30, but I really just wanted to break 1:32 while running a fun race if possible. We headed down the hill to the river. I was easing up and letting some people pass me without trying to keep up to everyone. I was running in about 30th place.

Rain falling while running by the river

Running up to mile 1, there was a guy announcing times. I heard “...14 ...15 ...16 ...” and thought I was running nice and slow (7:20something). Then he paused and started up again: “SIX 18 ...19 ...20 ...6:21 ...22 ...” Shoot. I was running WAY too hard. I NEEDED to ease up.

Mile 1: 6:22. “Oops. Slow it up Steve!!”
Mile 2: 6:42. “Still... ease up.”
Mile 3: 6:48. “Better...”

I was feeling great, but I hoped that I didn’t go out too hard. At this point, I was 67 seconds ahead of my pace from 2 years ago at the same race (where I broke 1:30:00). OF COURSE that was on my mind, but I’m smart enough to know that “on pace to do [blank]” means nothing at mile 3 of a half marathon.

Here’s a little downhill stretch just after mile 3:

Mile 4: 7:00. “Nice pace. Maybe just a little faster than that, but good.”

Just after the aid station around mile 4, there was a guy in front of me that pull to the center of the road and started puking:

Gross. I hope you got through the rest of the race OK, buddy.

And at that point, we had an extended uphill that was about a half mile long, but not too steep:

Mile 5: 6:45. “Good.”

At mile 5, I was still feeling GREAT, and my total time was 33:39. I did some quick math, and realized that if I ran 7-minute miles from this point, I’d be right around 1:30. I grinned a little to myself. Seven-minute miles from this point on sounded like a cakewalk. But there was a LOT of race left to be run.

Mile 6: 6:46. “I still feel great! Should think about upping the pace shortly!...”

Running up to the turn-around, I heard a PA system and a familiar voice. It was Gary Westlund from Charities Challenge!! He was hosting a party at the turn-around and he got a photo of me:

Turnaround: 44:56. “Nice. Now keep it strong!” (About 50th at this point.)

After the turn-around, I saw Chad pretty quickly. I kept looking for other runners that I knew. I LOVE out-and-back races for that reason! Here’s a boat-load of people running out towards the turn-around:

I saw everyone that I knew on their way out, but I didn’t get a photo of everyone. Here’s the one’s that I got:




Because I was looking so hard for people I knew, I stopped thinking about my pace, and I also missed the mile marker for mile 7. Do’h.

Mile 7 and 8: 14:15. “Shoot. Time to pick up the pace. Go harder NOW.”
Mile 9: 6:56. “Thought I was working harder than that. Dang.”

I chit-chatted with a LOT of people on the way back into downtown St. Paul. One guy said “I’ve NEVER seen someone taking pictures during a race.” I laughed and said “Well, you STILL haven’t - technically, I’m taking video!” I was talking to more people in the second half of the run because I was passing a lot of people. But the bottom of my feet were getting SORE. I was hoping that I still had 4 miles left in them!...

Leading up to mile 10 was a little bastard of a hill. It’s only about 2-3 blocks long, but it was making my hammies burn. Here’s the base of the hill:

Just after that hill, someone standing by the road was cheering for me BY NAME. I didn’t know who it was at the moment, but a few seconds later, I figured it might be Steve Q. If so, thanks for cheering Steve!

Mile 10: 6:44. “Good! GO. NOW. HARD. GO.”

It was hard running out there because I had passed a group of people in front of me, and now the road ahead was pretty lonely:

But I was heading toward a small group of people making a lot of noise. Just out of the frame to the right was a guy with a loud horn:

At that point, I saw a bald eagle above me. I was HASHED, but I still had the energy to turn on my camera:

No, that’s not a speck on your screen. It’s an eagle. Trust me.

Mile 11: 5:53. (short)
Mile 12: 7:27. (long)

They need to move that mile 11 mile marker - it was placed too early 2 years ago too. So I was knew that a long mile 12 was coming after seeing a sub-6 mile 11.

I was giving it my all. I KNEW I had sub-1:30 at this point, but could I PR?!? My PR was 1:28:05, and I’d have a LOT of work to break that, but by-golly, I was going to give it a shot!

The last few blocks along the river was where the wind was the worst - other than that, the wind wasn’t a big deal out there. I passed Kirt and said hi. I turned on my camera and started filming just before I rounded the final corner. We ran under a bridge and up the final SOB of a hill. Here’s that final 1-1.5 block hill as I was still under the bridge:

The finish is still 3-4 blocks beyond the top of that hill, which SUCKS!! I was pumping my arms so hard, that most of the video I was taking is of the ground. I held the camera up just as I was about to cross the finish line:

Mile 13 and last 0.1: 7:11.

Official Results: 1:28:55
34 out of 786 overall
8 out of 53 in the 25-29 age group
1 out of ?? in the “carry your camera and take videos throughout the race” category

Ummmm..... that last category might not officially exist. ;) As I was still recording, I swung the camera back and got a shot of me breathing hard and HAPPY to be done:

In every race, there’s at least ONE THING that anyone can feel good about. It’s usually something very random that makes you happy - you’re happy how you were able to push those middle miles, you’re happy that you were able to hold off that last person as you were headed to the finish line, etc, etc. I really believe that each person in every race has that one little “thing” that they feel good about. For this race, I gave myself a little smile and felt good that there were so few timing chips in the pail as the volunteer was talking off mine with a nippers:

After finishing, I ran through to get my “Winter Carnival Mug,” some snacks, some water, and headed to the car right away. I had to get home, get showered, and then get to my nephew’s 2nd birthday party! I would have loved to have stuck around to see everyone finish, but I had to get going.

I hope to put together my first ever “video race report” in the next day or 2, so stop back to see that shortly! Thanks everyone! (Oh, and thanks to everyone who left me such nice comments on my Twitter feed just after the race! Thanks guys!)


Out the Door to a Half Marathon!

>> Saturday, January 23, 2010

Let’s start at the bottom, and work our way up:

• YakTrax in case the road is too slick? Check.
• Brooks Adrenaline GTS running shoes? Check.
• Drymax Winter Running socks?* Check.
• Sugoi Compression Tights? Check.
• Under Armour Shorts?** Check.
• DeFeet Gloves? Check.
• Nike Top that’s nice and warm? Check.
• Nike Windbreaker to keep out the rain? Check.
• Old, old hat? Of course that’s a “check.”

* Note the Drymax socks pulled fashionably over the Sugoi tights. I see the start of a new trend!...
** To keep the “boys” from freezing off. Duh.
Also, I realize I'm not wearing the YakTrax or the gloves in the photo. Cut me some slack. It's early.

I have a few other things packed as well: I’ll carry my camera if it’s not raining too hard; I have a thin Sugoi top in case it starts raining more; and I have some Rotane GU for somewhere near the turn-around.

I won’t have time to post when I get back home (busy day!), but check my Twitter feed to see how I did - I’ll update that when I get a moment. Wish me luck!! OK, off to brave the freezing rain...


Friday Funny 72: Six Random, Random Things That Make Me Laugh!

>> Friday, January 22, 2010

If these don’t make you smile, then we can’t be friends anymore....

And quite possibly the best one of them all:

So I think I’m all set for the race tomorrow morning! I did an easy 4 miler yesterday, and I think I found what I want to wear for the race: just Under Armour and Sugoi Compression Tights on my lower half, and a thicker Nike shirt and a windbreaker on top (maybe another thin shirt if it’s pouring rain, which they’re talking about...). I like the look of my thicker “winter running” Drymax socks on the OUTSIDE of my tights, so if you’re cheering or running the race, look for me running by in this:

Damn, that looks SWEET! ;)

Wish me luck! Pray that the rain holds off until about 11 am tomorrow! (Because 25 degrees and pouring rain over 13.1 miles SUCKS!)


Saturday's Half Marathon

>> Thursday, January 21, 2010

So I'm trying to get in the right mindset to race on Saturday. I need to be somewhere BETWEEN these two thoughts:

- - - - - - - - - -

Run with your camera, have fun, and take some photos on the way! (Maybe even a video or 2.) This isn't an "A" race, so just ease into it so you don't die at mile 8, and have a good time. Make sure to say "hi" to everyone!

It's a gosh-dern race! Run it "properly" so you can be proud of your finishing time. Don't just go on a 13.1 mile jog. You can do that without paying $30. Suck it up, buttercup. Own it.

- - - - - - - - - -

So I WOULD really like to run with my camera. It's not super tiny, so it's not the easiest to run with. But I think I've convinced myself to run with it. Unless it's raining (which they ARE talking about) because I don't want to ruin it.

We'll see what happens. In the end, I hope I have a fun time running, and I hope to turn in a respectable time! It's 2 days away!!!

p.s. Thanks for all the advice on my heel in my last post. To answer some of your questions: I stretch a lot and love to foam roll, so it's not due to lack of stretching. The pain is always there, not just when I run. I DO have high arches. And I'm paranoid that it's a stress fracture (or a blood clot). I'll look into it after the half marathon. Thanks!


Diagnose Me

>> Wednesday, January 20, 2010

.... No, not my “head” problems. And not my undiagnosed hypertrichosis with a hint of triathlon-induced narcissistic personality disorder - I’m at a good spot with that.

As many of you “regulars” know, I have some constant achilles issues. I tend to get overuse injuries. But for the last 2 weeks, it’s been changing a little, and I don’t know if it’s STILL an achilles issues.

Normally, the pain is at the lower part of my calf / upper part of my heel, right in the middle. Usually, the pain is here:

But over the last 10 days or so, it SEEMS to have been slowly moving around to the inside of my leg. Now, the pain is here:

It’s a dull, deep ache. Could this be the same achilles issues as before and it’s just moving to a new part of the same tendon? Or could it be something different? Any thoughts? Time for an appointment with my ART Doc?

I’ll post this to a BeginnerTriathlete Forum as well, and we’ll see who can diagnose me better... ;)

Thanks everyone!


One Last 12 Miler Before This Weekend’s Half Marathon

>> Monday, January 18, 2010

Or “A ‘Tempo Sandwich’ Long Run.”

Or “Don’t Worry: There Are NO Gross Foot Photos Below! REALLY!”

On Saturday, I went out for my last long run before the Winter Carnival Half Marathon this weekend. I didn’t know if my heel, knee, or my tender feet (from some recent blisters) would hold up, so I came up with a route where I could bail out at mile 10 if I needed to:

I noted where the mile markers were on that map, and I taped the location of each of the mile markers to my forearm:

(I need to say right now that my mile splits were NOT exact - some were short; some were long. I’ll be noting that below when I note my splits.)

So I had “Plan A” and “Plan B” to work with on my run:

“Plan A” would be to warm up for 3 miles, push hard until mile 10 or 11, ease up for the last mile or 2, and end up with 12 (as seen in the map above). I would do that if I felt OK and nothing was hurting too much.

“Plan B” would be to warm up for 3 miles, push hard until mile 9, ease up for the last mile (up a big hill), and end up with 10 (leaving out that last 2 mile loop in the map above). I would do that ONLY IF my heel, knees, or feet were hurting too much.

I threw on my YakTrax and got to work. It was a beautiful 15-20 degree morning! I saw LOTS of runners out there, and I said “hi” to nearly all of them. My first 3 “warm-up” miles were 7:30 (downhill), 8:01, and 7:35 (a short mile).

My right heel was feeling a little sore, but it wasn’t bad at all. I tried to pick up the pace at mile 3.

Mile 4: 7:53 (bit long)
Mile 5: 6:47 (bit short)
Mile 6: 7:50 (bit long)
Mile 7: 6:39 (bit short)

(That’s 7:17 / mile over those 4 miles.) I knew I could go the full 12. My feet were fine. My heel was actually feeling better (I think the 3 mile warm-up helped with that a lot!). But I just didn’t feel too comfortable running out there; I just didn’t feel “right.” I’ve lost a lot of a mental edge over the last 2 months. I feel like I used to be able to force myself to hold a faster pace and convince myself I’d be OK. I was better at “working through the pain.” On this run, I kept speeding up, and then slowing down a bit. And then I’d have to convince myself to speed up again. My times were OK, but it wasn’t a good “mental” run.

I was getting warm, so I took off my mittens. (Yes, mittens. Mittens are one of the keys to running outside this time of year. Shut your face. Don’t make fun of my mittens.) At that point - running a little warm and feeling a little hashed - I realized that I looked much like I did when I was around mile 12 of my first Winter Carnival Half Marathon 2 years ago. In fact, I was wearing the EXACT same outfit, right down to holding my mittens in my hands:

My first half marathon, 2 years ago.

Here’s the next couple of mile splits:

Mile 8: 6:59 (just slightly long)
Mile 9: 7:11 (steep, short hill)
Mile 10: 6:59 (up a big hill)

I was happy with those miles! Mile 9 had a quick little uphill that hurt, and it didn’t affect my time TOO much. And mile 10 contained a BIG hill (River Road to Cretin on Marshall), so I was REAL happy to see that be 6:59.

At that point, I let up a little. There weren't many more hills, so mile 11 was actually faster: 6:48. For the last mile, I eased up a lot and used that mile as a cool-down, so that mile was 7:26.

Being it was such a nice day, there was no “frozen face photo” when I got done, but I still snapped one anyway. The resulting photo showed me something that I haven’t seen in a photo before: I have girlishly long eyelashes that constantly brush up against my glasses:


(My glasses aren’t foggy like that when I run; it just happens once I stop.)

Overall, my time was 1:27:42 (7:18.5 / mile). The middle 6 miles (the “tempo” part of this run) were 7:08.3 / mile. My feet got sore over the last 2.5 miles from running on uneven residential sidewalks, but no new blisters!

I don’t know what Saturday’s half marathon will hold, but I did NOT think I could run that 12 miler that fast! I WAS hoping to break 1:35 this weekend, but after that 12 miler, I could maybe get close to 1:30. I dunno. I stated on my blog a while back that this is NOT an “A” race for me, so I’m going to do the best I can, but still have a ton of fun. I might even run with my camera and snap some photos!

Anyway, thanks for reading everyone! Have a great week!



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