Thursday, December 27, 2012

1000 miles is very far...

Yeah, I know the song is 2000 miles but tonight in a Colorado winter night I hit 1000 miles since I started training for the Myrtle Beach Marathon and began my life change in March. It was on a part snow packed, part slush, part ice, chilling night with a light sprinkle of snow brushing across my face. It was awesome. You know once I get out there it makes me realize how much I enjoy running (well at least the first 19 miles). It helps burn calories I don't by having a sit on your ass state at the computer job. It makes me feel better once I do it and mainly it has changes my LIFE. I am happier, healthier, other h words that may be good and non blog appropriate. I have 4 more long runs before I start my taper and only 50 days until the marathon.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

50 miles and Speed (Training) Kills a Long Run...

Yes, I hit 50.  The first 40 miles of them were enjoyable.  The last half of my long run of 21 Miles sucked.  My legs had nothing left in them.  I was hungry, thirsty, cold and just tired.  I went to 49 miles and had it.  I walked the last mile and had my wife pick me up the extra half mile I had for the week.  I will never run around the Rocky Mountain Arsenal again.  It is an ugly run as soon as you start heading east on 56th Avenue.  There is also very little to stop the wind from hitting you and the last 4.5 miles, yep, headwind the whole freaking way. 

Week 9, 60 days left until the Marathon.  I won't lie.  I bit off a lot more than most first timers would chew and I know it will help me, but damn it's a lot of work.  Anyone can do a half marathon, the question is can you do a full?  We will see in less than 9 weeks.  I already know my anwer is yes.  The question is, how successful can I be?!  The work these next 5 weeks before taper will be the deciding factor.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

And I could run 900 miles (in 40 weeks)...

And I could run 900 more!!!  Ba-dum-dum!!!  I have ran over 900 miles in 40 weeks and have 10 weeks left until the Myrtle Beach Marathon.  My training took a crap missing my long run this past weekend but I am ahead of probably 95% of most first timers marathon training so I won't continue the weird depression I had going on Monday from missing it.  But I have a goal of 3:45 and the more mileage, the better, so no more of this missing stuff.

But back to the topic on hand, on Christmas Day I should be celebrating the birth of little tiny Jesus, in your golden fleece diapers with your tiny little fat balled up fists... dear 8 pound, 6 oz, newborn infant Jesus, don't even know a word yet, just a little infant so cuddly, but still omnipitent...; enjoying the day with family and being blessed I will be crossing 1000 miles in my life transformation.  Now that's just another reason to celebrate.

Monday, December 10, 2012

A weekend without running...

This weekend did not go as planned.  I did not get to 21 miles, I did not pass GO, I did not collect $200 but instead paid much more than that.  I spent this weekend running around holiday shopping, having family time, buying a treadmill and then buying repair stuff around the house for the damage caused on trying to carry in pieces of the treadmill and it dinging walls and scratching laminate flooring.  I am not a happy camper about this.  I am happy that my wife has a tool and no excuse maker staring at her in the corner of the room saying "Run on me Maurice".  I am an outdoor runner, but am sure I'll get some 4 mile runs on it when the day just hasn't gone as I had hoped and I need it. 

Missing my first long run will be short lived but it still weighed on my head as the hours went by yesterday and I knew I was not going to get it done.  I am doing 15-20 miles today after an early exit work day.  I need it.  I am a little disappointed my 21 will have to wait but this week will be a big make-up week.  I will probably stick to 15 today, do a 4 recovery tomorrow, a 5 mile MTY, then my 9 miler Yassos and then a 4 miler before doing 21 before the weekend.  So do I count it as a 50 mile week or just say you don't get that pleasure missing your long run of last week and this goes towards last week?!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

You got the Bird, goodbye 2nd summer, hello late fall&Hydrapak Giveaway...

I had some HS kid make some zombie like noises at me as he drove past me the other night while running.  My response was two fingers waving at him (well two per hand since I am a thumb added middle finger giver).  It also brought me back to my younger days (which was like two years ago for some of these things) when I yelled at bicyclists, bums and other people.  Colfax is the most relevant place to be heard when you have cash and tinted windows... oh what happened there?  I digress.  Anyhow, it made me realize, dude you were that ass hole, ignore it next time.

I like to run at night.  It means I get to burn off some calories of what I put in my body (see Christmas chocolate of late) and I don't have to wake up super early.  The wife has to be out of the house all but Thursday's by 6:30.  I already get up early at least 2-3 days a week to get in by 6, why do it every day if I don't have to.  I honestly think if I run before 10:30 at night, people are more aware than at 6 when they haven't fully woke up and are super pissed they are going into work. Tonight I go 9 mi for the midweek run before a 4 mi warm-up to the daunting 21 miles this weekend.  Yippee.

Yesterday was in the 70s in Denver.   Today is 40s and it's supposed to stay cool for the next week, why?!  When I first started running and it was 30s to 40s, I could get away with a long sleeve.  Even then I'd be sweating.  Now I need a jacket or cold gear and definitely a beanie.  My sausage fingers have also turned into normal fingers so they get cold and I am hoping for gloves under the Christmas tree.  I like the cooler weather, but I liked it a lot more with 40 lbs of insulation.

Last but not least, the barefoot inclined man is blogging away and talking about a cool water bottle that also has a gel dispenser in it.  They hydrapak gelbot.  He also is talking about my favorite fuel, the honey stinger waffle!!!

http://barefootinclined.blogspot.com/2012/12/hydrapak-gelbot-and-honeystinger-review.html

Monday, December 3, 2012

And then there were 11...

11 weeks/75 days until Myrtle Beach!!!  It's crazy to think.  I also look at my crazy ramped up schedule and go, what the hell was I thinking?  My next 7 weeks before tapering have long runs of 21, 16, 22, 17, 23, 18, 24.  One of the weeks is a 49 mile week.  You better bet your bottom dollar I'll be going 50 miles that week.  Of course, I am still not at a 40 week (though that changes this week). 

I ran a fast 15.5 this weekend.  Ran under 2 hours for my half!  It's just fast.  Best part of the run was the end though.  No, not because I was done, I felt great and had a ton in the tank.  At the end, Sophie and Andi were outside and Sophie is jumping up and down like crazy excited to see me home.  That is a memory I'll keep when I am running my full marathon. She may not be there in person, but she'll be there in my heart. 

Friday, November 30, 2012

Yassos kick my ass-os...

After a difficult Thanksgiving week of running (2-4.5 mile runs and a 20 with a missed 4 miler and 8 miler), I knew I had to get back on track this week.  Heck, it's only 78 days until I run the Myrtle Beach Marathon.  Of course I am ahead of most rookies training for their first, but I can't rest on that fact.  So, this week has been a good week figuratively getting back on the track by having 3 of my 4 runs done with the last scheduled for lunch and I also literally did get back on the track for my Yasso 800s yesterday.

This was a difficult run.  I fortunately got out of work early so I could enjoy my run in the sun and the warm weather we've been experiencing.  I drove to the local middle school track which is a gravel surfaced track so it's like running on some of the so-called "trails" near my house.  I could tell the first mile warm-up that it would be a mental battle the entire way.  My pace has gone to 3:40 for my Yassos from the 4:15 it first started as and the self imposed 4:00 I had it become right before I did my Half clear back in August.  4 or 5 Yasso's are not tough.  8!!! Holy Crap.  I got done with the each of the first 3 and each time was thinking, maybe I should just do 6 of them and cut my run down to 6 miles instead of 8.  From 4-7 I told myself that I could get to 7 but I was done there.  I didn't have to do an 8th, I was already tired and had pushed it and didn't need it.  As I jogged a 1/4 way through that cool down, I said, dude, it's one more, get it done!  I ran it in similar fashion as my other ones, a strong first 150 meters where I was like, no problem, but then 650 meters where I am telling myself dude you are slow, you won't even finish this lap in under 2 minutes.  I proved myself wrong and fought through the doubt and excuses.  After finishing, I have thought a lot about it and decided, I really need experiences like this and they will make for a better marathon because I will fight through plenty of doubting when I hit the wall.  An easy 16 miler this weekend. :)

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

MTY kick ass...

So a long time ago I touched on my Uncle's made-up MTY runs.  They are 2 miles at Marathon Pace, a mile at Tempo pace, 1/2 a mile at slow/long pace and 1/2 mile at Yasso pace.  My pacing has been sped up dramatically from when I first started these.

  • Marathon pace was initially a 9:45, then got switched to a 9:09 after my 1/2 and has dropped another 30 seconds to 8:35.
  • Tempo has gone from 9:07 to 8:35 to 8:00
  • Slow has gone from 10:30 to 10:00 to 9:30
  • Yasso has gone from 4:30 to 4:00 to 3:40 (1/2 mile times)
Yes, 3:45 is my goal but shooting for a 3:40 Yasso will help give me the needed wiggle room.  Well, my MTY that I ran fully committed and keeping pace in mind went awesome.  It was on a trail at the Adams County Fairgrounds and I ran until it dead ended up north.  I met all my Yasso times and it's a great start.  I am stoked.

Monday, November 19, 2012

89 days from Myrtle Beach Marathon...

This past weekend was a significant one.  It marked less than 90 days until my brother and I join the 1% of the population that will ever do a marathon in their lifetime with my seasoned veteran of an Uncle.  It also marked my brother's first half marathon and abother full marathon for my Uncle.  This one in PA.  My brother's half showed the difficulties experienced in a race, having cramped up just after the 10k mark after waiting for the port-a-potties.  My Uncle is a machine and even with inadequate training ran a comfortable "Training" run of 3:41.  If I can get that time, I will have ran a perfect marathon.  *sigh*  My Sunday run was awesome.  I listened to the end of the Sunday morning football games and caught the entire first half of the Broncos first half.  I ran 16 on Sunday.  I once again missed one of my 4 shorter runs.  It has been my toughest obstacle to get that 5th run in.  The long runs go well and have never been cut short.  This is the week I just do it. Copyrighted by Nike.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

I've neglected you...

To my very few readers (if any, since I may just be typing to myself) and to my blog, I am sorry for my neglect.  Yes, I started a blog about a half dozen times and then I deleted every single one of them.  I just didn't find my running interesting and doubted that others had as well.  But since my last blog was still in summer it seems and we've gone right to a wintery time, I figured I better get back on board.

I have ramped up my running.  My toughest challenge is that elusive fifth run.  I have missed it in two consecutive weeks.  It is early in my training but let's be honest, I  am not one for excuses and I decided to start this challenge and I intend to finish it.  I have decided to do 6 runs this week.  I only did four last week, so I owe it to myself.  Of course one of the four was a 20 mile run through snow/sleet/cold weather/light wind but it was a great experience and instead of saying, yeah I am finished, I was thinking, I wish I could go another 10.  Running has become a source of enjoyment I never imagined possible.  I used to run sprints in wrestling and football and I knew I could handle it.  I would go as fast as I needed to but I would never have to run more than a minute.  When I ran longer distances for training, I would always ask when am I done instead of what it has now become of when can I do more?  It is not easy balancing family, work, running and other responsibilities, but I have found a love for running. 

It is crazy to think about but my Uncle Tim, Brother Alex and myself and only 3 months and a few days from toeing the line together.  Well, my Uncle will be in a wave about 1000 runners ahead of me, I'll be somewhere in the middle and my brother will start with me and we'll see how things go from there.

So in the last month and a half I have done 7 consecutive 30+ mile weeks with 3 of those being 35 mile weeks.  The 40 mile week is next week.  I should have plenty of time from Thanksgiving to Sunday to get in that long run.  I am tempted to run from Boulder to Broomfield after the CU game.  Now will it be plausible?  I am not sure. 

Things I have learned in the past 6 weeks:
  • The weather drops 15-20 degrees within 30 minutes.  I ran last night after leaving work at 4:30 and got up near the house just after 5 and it went from 50 to low 30s that quickly.  I was cold the first mile of my run, but felt great the rest of the way.
  • I (and marathoners) am (are) insane.  I saw a handful of people out walking their dogs during my 3 hours and change run but that was when the weather had cleared up for a little.  Unlike weeks past, the bikers, walkers and others were not noted.  Marathoners are crazy running in these conditions.
  • I am ill equipped for the cold or dark.  I need more reflective clothing and definitely something I can wear to keep me warm for my shorter runs.  My cold gear top and bottom are AWESOME, but a warm jacket and some pants are probably needed as well as gloves.
  • Colorado can't decide its weather from hour to hour, so I better be prepared for whatever hour or condition it is and have gear for all occassions.
  • The human body is amazing.  I ran 20 miles, 18 miles, 17 miles, 16 miles and 15 miles twice.  I never imagined with less than 24 oz water and only about 150 calories consumed during those runs that my body could feel so amazing after the fact and me not be opposed to more.
  • Old worn down shoes can cause aches that aren't needed.  My old shoes have very noticeable wear and probably close to 700 miles on them.  I ran with my new ones this past week and they are a savior.  My ankle, knees and other aches were much less these last few days.
  • Last, I am excited for another run and especially the long run.  Only doing 15 and then back up to 20.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

30 miles, a difficult year, Remembering My Father-in-Law Zane and coping...

I hit 30 miles, legitimately.  The first 30, I kind of pieced together a couple shorter runs to go with a 7.5 mile run and round it to 10.  This past week it was different.  I did four runs during the week and had a great 13.5 miler Sunday during the Broncos game.  Yes, running has become as important as the Broncos, but I did listen to them while I ran.  I go up another two to 32 and a 15 miler for my long run.  It will be my longest run to date and I am looking forward to it.

But, mainly I post today to look back at the previous year and a half of my life.  In March of 2011, things had been going pretty well in life.  Then in late March, my dad and stepmom visited from Alaska.  It was not a visit that went well and in turn led to angry exchanges that led to us no longer talking.  About 2 weeks after that my Grandma Ventura and someone who had been like a parent to me had a stroke that completely made her unable to communicate or eat.  My Grandma loved to talk and when you were in a room with her, you heard her voice the majority of the time.  I visited her daily until her last day on earth, July 23, 2011.  On that day, I did not want to be around her because I could no longer sit there without saying anything I hadn't before.  She was starving, frustrated with not being able to communicate what was in her beautiful mind and I could no longer see her like that.  I instead stayed away from the hospice she was at and spent that day with my brother, wife, Sophie and my Mom and Michael.  I talked about her and thought about how she would take me to Dairy Queen while my brother napped and how she made the best Mac N Cheese, Pigs in a Blanket, Pinnouchi and how she helped teach me math and make me realize I was brighter than I had given myself credit.  Most of all, she loved me no matter what and I will always miss her.  I don't know what it was, but at the time of her death, I felt a sudden rush go through my body I may not be able to every describe.  I knew she had passed.  I got a call from my dad not more than 5 minutes confirming what I knew.  I was relieved my Grandma no longer had to fight.  She fought breast cancer and survived for 32 years.  She fought terrible knees, heart surgery in her late 60s, a hospice stay due to her organs shutting down 2 years before this stroke and she fought seven days with no food and no water.   She was the strongest woman I had ever known.  I had to see her one last time and my brother and I rushed to say goodbye even though she was gone.  It was weird, but her hands and forearm were super warm after being fairly cool most of the time (old age is a bitch) and I felt like her soul was still there with me allowing me to say goodbye and be the last person to be with her.  I broke down as I said my goodbyes and let go of her hand to blow my nose and wipe my tears.  Not more than 30 seconds later, I touched her and she was ice cold.  That was my proof that she was gone and had waited for me, her favorite grand child, before finally leaving to a place she had welcome

Shortly after her death, coaching wrestling was no longer an option.  There was too much negatives to even try to put the time into showing it was worth it to my family and to the school and district and that was not a part of my life.  And to be honest, while I enjoyed it and was successful at it and loved doing, I wasn't going to be able to put what I needed into it to make it as successful as it had become during my 5 years there.

In early May I went to Florida with Andi, Sophie and my mother and father in-law.  It was a much needed vacation and it was nice to have just us five together and Sophie got to bond even more with her grandparents, but my father-in-law said something that will always ring in my ears while we were out to dinner at Outback in Orlando.  We asked why they wouldn't less us pay for our share so often, since it made us feel like we were looking for a handout or something I guess.  Zane said "One of these days we'll be gone, so enjoy it!"  I believe I tried to get another drink after that. :)  And I believe it was much more negative sounding when he said it.  And...

On October 6th, 2011, the difficult year I thought I had been having hit rock bottom.  My father-in-law, Zane Kunkel, passed away from a tragic work accident that day.  I got a call around 2:00 p.m. from my mother-in-law.  I was on the other line at work, but I was not use to seeing her call at that time and got an awful feeling and was just thinking about getting off the phone to call her back.  She called back as I was getting off the other line and she called frantic.  She could not get ahold of my wife and was trying to let her know that Zane had had a work accident and was at Saint Anthony in Lakewood.  It sounded like he had severe damage to his shoulder, broken ribs potentially and a collapsed lung maybe based off what they were "told".  My brother-in-laws and mother-in-law were trying to group together and get down there.  I tried Andi and could not get ahold of her either.  I waited about another 5 minutes and decided I could not wait to hear back from her and drove like a mad man to get home.  I got home in under half an hour.  I was going 65 in areas 30 was the speed limit.  I didn't care, I just had a feeling I needed to get home.  I got home and Andi was still asleep wondering why I was home.  I let her know what had happened.  She talked with her mom and suddenly it sounded like Zane maybe had dislocated his shoulder and they'd call us back when they got to the hospital and let us know.  I told Andi we needed to leave either way, just in case there was more to the story.  I sped to the hospital and we got there probably 30 minutes after my mother and brother-in-laws had arrived.  They had not seen Zane but he had got taken from ER to surgery and that's what they knew.  From everything the company he worked for said, a bolder weighing over 120 lbs had fell 50 feet and struck him near the shoulder/upper chest.  Finally after waiting for what seemed forever, a nurse came out and started blabbering incoherently.  She was interrupted by a heartless witch head nurse shortly after that appeared to be concerned (thinking back on it) about knowing more about what happened.  This shoulder injury accident sounded a lot worse suddenly.  There was severe bleeding on the liver and lung with damage to both.  It sounded like things weren't dire by any means.  I am not even sure how long it was before we were asked to go back to the back room and then we were told things looked "grim".  I cringe every time I hear that word.  There was bleeding from a vein running near his spine and behind his already damaged organs and that had to stop before the other items were even looked at.  I started calling family I knew that could provide good prayers in my brother and Uncle Tim.  I had already been talking with my mom as well.  It wasn't 15 minutes later that a surgeon came out and I knew it meant one thing, Zane was gone.  We all broke down.  My wife had lost her protector, the man that made her the strong woman she is and her daddy.  My brother-in-laws lost their hero and my mother-in-law lost the only man she had ever loved and had spent her entire adult life with in an instant.  They all lost a man they loved that gave each one of them strength beyond what they know or give themselves credit for.  Zane was a hard nosed, hard working man that didn't put up with shit but loved his family and worked his ass off to provide for them.  He in turn made three kids that are cut of the same cloth.  The toughest part of it all is Zane was the happiest I've ever seen.  You could tell from about a year before my wife and I got married, he was no longer as worn down and tired and angry, but was starting to enjoy life.  He and Julie were vacationing regularly, his family was getting along and the icing on the cake was his granddaughter Sophie.  Sophie changed Zane even more.  She softened him up and changed him.  The family lost their rock, but part of that rock is in all of my in-laws and while there will always be a piece of that rock missing, they are still stronger than most people in the world because of what Zane instilled in them during his time with them.

They all have it much harder than I do and that's why I talk about them and care more about how they feel than myself.  That's a man they knew from birth and the main person they got their strength from.  That said, I lost someone I love, respect and I felt was like another dad, not just while being married to his daughter but from when I was a late teenager and his son's best friend.

I had spent a large majority of my college weekends with the Kunkel family, especially during football season.  I had grown up a CU fan because my own dad raised me a Broncos fan first and Buffs fan second.  We watched many games together and he took me to my first CU game.  4 years later I was tailgating with the Kunkel's on a regular basis before CU games while Barry was preparing for games.  I would go to dinner after the games with them.  I'd hang out at their house waiting to go to a movie or go to a restaraunt or do something during the season, after the season and in between.  I became the bastard child pretty much and this was before dating his daughter.  Zane made me tougher but I believe I made him laugh more because of my opposite personality.  I wasn't a fan of confrontation, I didn't mind acting like a jack ass and I was a jack ass.  I said things that he would have told other people to STFU about because he knew that was me.  I'll always remember calling him a Sad Panda, being the only person that could call him Zaner and just how much better the game and tailgates were with him there.  I lost someone that I knew was always going to be another man my daughter could look up to and respect and be loved by.  He was a phenomenal grandfather and was really fun to be around especially the last handful of years when he was finally finding FULL happiness.  I cry, but it is far less than my in-laws and wife.  It's not that I don't care, it's that my sadness doesn't always require tears or words.  I tend to bottle it up and thus I gained 15-20 lbs within 3 months of his death.  Food was my way of coping with lifes issues.

In March of this year, weighing close to 210, I finally found a coping mechanism that was healthy for me, running.  When I run it helps me lose some of my sadness and realize some of the great things that I got to do in my life were because Zane and the Kunkel's brought along my bastard child self.  I have a 15 miler planned for this weekend.  Saturday is the year anniversary that no one knows how to approach.  Whether I run that day or the day after, the main person I'll be thinking about throughout it is Zane.  Thinking about Zane and other things in life while I run are great ways for the miles to just go by and for me to find a way to cope with the negative things in life and be my therapy.  Losing weight, becoming more happy with myself and body have made the March 2011 to March 2012 year being the toughest and most depressing of my life to the last 6 months being happy realizing I can only control my own mind, body, emotions and beliefs and unless I find some happiness and peace I can't help make anyone else more happy.  I love my wife and in-laws and little Sophie so much and all I can do is share my stories about Zane, listen to theirs and tell them I also miss him greatly and do what I can for them weekend.

Monday, September 24, 2012

It's time to Ramp (clap) it up...

Yes, I said it like the old SNL skit with Hans and Frans with Dana Carvey and Kevin Nealon.  This week is the start of 5 days a week of running.  It also signifies 21 weeks of training left before I become an official marathoner and not just one in training.

I am not going to lie.  I am excited.  I am ready.  I ran 11 miles, almost 12 according to Nike App but I think it was closer to 11 but it felt great.  What What in the Bottom (trying to be G rated)?  I wasn't pushing, but my pace felt great.  It was mid 80s and unlike last weeks run it felt comfortable. 

The Rock N Roll Marathon/Half was in Denver this weekend.  I've read and heard that it was well organized and a much better way to see Denver than the Colfax.  I may run this one next year, but I'll have to see how the first one goes before committing to too many things. 

Friday, September 21, 2012

Hello Fall, remembrance and getting remotivated...

I say this having never ran during the fall.  I say this having only began running right as Spring was approaching this year, but I say this because fall is a great time of year.  It is football season, the weather is cooling down a little so I can run anytime from sunrise to night time and not be freezing or burning up during a run.

I will always have a sadness for this time of year due to what happened last year in losing my father-in-law on October 6th.  That day and when there is a cold, strong wind will always bring my spirits down but to be honest, running has helped keep me positive and make me think of more pleasant times with him.  I got done with my run last night and was thinking about the last time I saw him and all the good and bad things of that week.  This next month is not going to be easy for my in-laws but all I can do is be there for them and try to bring some comfort.

I have not been motivated the past couple weeks.  Last week I missed a run.  It was the second run I've missed in 6 months, though the first one I attribute to keeping an injury from occuring with some ITBS issues that were stirring.  Last week I just couldn't find the time or push to say you have to do this.  Last night, I could have, but even though it was late, I needed to get my gear on and hit the pavement.  I believe my run Tuesday at lunch and last night proved to me that I am faster on my marathon pace than I thought or expected I'd be and that once I am out there, I don't want to stop running, I just want to keep going.  To not frighten my wife for being gone for another 30 minutes and to not hurt myself right before I ramp up, I have held back and just ran.

This is my last week of my LIFE running as my Uncle/running mentor/LIFE mentor has put it.  It is what I will be doing as my weekly excercising of roughly 20-24 miles a week.  I have enjoyed it but I think I needed a challenge and ramping up for the last 21 weeks of my training is that challenge to get me out of this flat part of the plateau.  I am ready to start climbing this long mountain to being prepared for my marathon.  I truly believe I will accomplish under 4:00 hours for my marathon and think with my improvement, barring injuries or illness, I will be able to truly have at least a 3:45 as a realistic goal.  Currently just under 4:00 is a realistic goal if I don't improve.  Here's to the last two runs before I go to 5 days a week and at least 30 miles a week!!!

Monday, September 17, 2012

10 Personal Running Questions...

First before you read this, read this Today's First Blog Post since it was my overview of the last few days and I enjoyed writing it.  And to go along the lines of a person that discusses pooping and running.  I once again stole this from the Shut Up and Run blogger SUAR

Here are her 10 questions and my responses in my 6 months of running:

1. Best Run Ever-My first half.  It made me realize I can run 13 miles and still have extra in the tank and I beat my target pace by about 15 seconds a mile and finished in 1:51:51.

2. Three Words that Describe my Running-Exciting, Relaxing, Peaceful

3. My go to Running Outfit-Well, I feel like getting all chicky here since this sounds more for women but I'll say my Nike Running Shorts and a running shirt is all I care about.

4. Quirky Habit While Running-I tend to now drink every two miles so my body is trained for it since that's what most races seem to do is set up water every 2 miles.

5. Morning, Midday, Evening-My wife does not like it but I love to run at nights.  I am in a suburb neighborhood and area where I can run almost any distance and have well lit areas around me.  Only problem is there are coyotes around in some of those areas but I've never actually seen them in the neighborhoods or that close to them.

6. I won't run outside when it's-I have ran in every sort of weather but a cold windy rain doesn't sound like I'd be interested in tackling that day.

7. Worst injury and how I got over it-It's only been 6 months so nothing major but some ITBS tightness that I just rested and stretched/massaged it out.

8. I felt most like a badass mother runner when-I completed my first 13+ mile run from Cedaredge area to Delta.  I also felt like a pussy because it was dark the first half of itin noted bobcat/mountain lion/coyote/bear country.

9. Next race is-Rock Canyon Half in December in Pueblo

10. Potential 2013 Running Goal-Continue improving, cut to under 160 and achieve my first ultimate running goal I joined with my brother and uncle of running a marathon.  Feb 12, 2013 in Myrtle Beach.  Reading about others injuries and sickness worry me though.

Does a Bear Shit in the woods??? (Losing a different sort of virginity)...

So, for those faint of stomach, I will let you know part of this blog is going to go into a topic you don't want to hear about, Poop, Crap, SHIT!!!, etc. but I will give you warning before I go "there".

I took off last week from work from Wednesday on.  The family and I went to the zoo, up to Idaho Springs and hung out a lot.  It was nice, but it never seems like you do as much as you'd like when you have time off.  I thought there would be more relaxing and sleeping but with a 3-yr old that has become an insomniac, I believe that is impossible.  Now I need a day off just so I can sleep.

Other things that happened was watching CU get torn apart by a MWC team and realizing it's already time to pull the plug on this staff IMO.  I also attended my high school friend's, Nate Rehm, wedding.  My wife wasn't too intent joining me for a wedding where she only knew the groom and hadn't seen him but at our wedding, so I went solo.  It was at Boettcher Mansion which I had not visited and I have to say, that is a beautiful residence and beautiful setting to have a wedding.  It was gorgeous, but fuck did I feel like a loner/loser/whatever else you want to call it and I am not one to be uncomfortable but I felt like Owen Wilson when he was crashing weddings on his own without the acting like a jackass part.  I blew my budget on escort girls and I heard Julia Roberts prices have increased from the 80s so going solo was the only way to go.  Oh well, I went to see one of my friends that I care about get married and it was a beautiful wedding and well done.  How can you not enjoy a Mac and Cheese bar, finger desserts of every kind and open bar?  Congrats, Nate Dogg. 

Back to the zoo, I am usually not one for the zoo because the animals don't do anything but they must have got the brown bears/grizzlies from the Circus or from some Asian zoo where they perform in order to get fed because they made the zoo well worth it.  They were sniffing all the small children from across their moat since they were covered in sugar and probably smelled like Honey Smoked Salmon (product placement, can I get some free Honey Smoked Salmon from the CO based Honey Smoked Fish Company in CO for that well placed marketing?).  They were waving and standing up (and pissing) from the scent of some delicious children.  You could tell parents were like cute but keeping their kids close in case the bears decided it'd be worth attempting a jump to try those delicious kiddies!  We skipped out of the rest of the zoo quickly.  Denver needs to work on getting some water creatures.  I saw no polar bears or sea lions (this has been occuring regularly to where they used to be staples of the zoo when I was growing up).  The large primate area was the quickest we went through.  I mainly ushered Sophie out of the Orangutan area because I was not willing to have my child exposed to a masturbating orange primate while other parents seemed to be clueless.  That can be saved for when one of her friends in elementary ruin it for her while youtubing it on their iPhone15stk and we have to explain what she saw.

So I've been delaying it, but it's time to talk about my running.  I only did 3 days last week.  I am not proud, but not worried.  I planned on bumping up mileage in 2 weeks and feel it is time, plus Saturday's run beat the shit out of me (pun intended and I was fine just taking Sophie to the park and grocery shopping).  So my two shorter runs went well last week.  I did one at night.  I did the other right before the local middle school was getting out I came to realize and did my Yasso 800s averaging 3:50 pace.  I only did 5, but after not doing speed training for the last month, I was glad to see my Yassos were stronger than they were before my 1/2 marathon.  So Saturday...  Well, I waited to get my long run in because I got to bed late from getting the dog and heading to the in-laws and Andi needed to go to the doctor in the morning, so I decided I'd run while Sophie napped in the early afternoon.  Only, it was hot, 82-84 when I decided to do my run and I was hungry from only snacking on a couple pieces of bacon and having a banana so I decided to have a burrito and nachos from Taco Bell (Registered TM) and figured I'd have some fuel then.  Yeah, fuel is a nice way to put it.  So I prepped for my long run as Sophie went down for a nap and after we put away our stuff from the night before/morning of staying at the in-laws.  I felt full and slow.  My gut had been giving me issues since pizza at Beau Jo's in Idaho Springs.  Their pizza is great and it's fun to go there but I swear they put 10x the fiber normal wheat crust has and add ex-lax to their cheese like my friends did to the pasta salad all the coaches ate before a football game in high school.

I was finally running from 96th and Buckley to 56th and Buckley.  This is an old road that's been closed to the public for years but is now considered a trail for the Arsenal trail that goes along the trail.   The trail is pretty poor along 56th I've seen from the road and pretty poor once you get to about 76th on this old road.  On 56th you can at least run along a sidewalk until the trail picks up again near Dick's Sporting Goods park (another product placement, though I like my 20% off Sports Authority coupons and their clearance gear more) to where there is a 1.5 mile stretch where this trail is just a potholed, weed filled old road where you could roll an ankle and be left for the coyotes if you aren't careful.  The run from 56th to 96th is great because it's like one nice climb the first half of the 5 miles and then downhill the second half, so it's a nice there and back.  Only I could not think of that.  I was thinking, you are definitely not going too hard because you are over 10:15 pace which is okay for a long run but a little slow for skinny Andy/Ace, but was fine for 180 lb Ace.  I didn't care.  (Descriptive area of my feelings and actions starts now!!!) My main goal was keeping from puking up that 5-layer burrito or keeping it from exiting into my shorts.  I felt like if I puked I'd feel better but the only time I find puking easy is when I mix beer and hard alcohol or wheat beer so I knew that wasn't likely.  I felt like I may be able to handle the run all the way back when I felt better briefly about 3/4 mile from 56th.  I think that is the calm before the storm you get when you have stomach issues and it was.  As soon as I saw 56th clearly, I knew I could not make it more than another mile without some issues.  Luckily I had  taken my Uncle's advice of carrying toilet paper.  Unlike past runs where I knew I'd be passing places I could relieve myself, this was a trail I knew I'd be lucky to.  There was a port-a-pottie at 56th but it was enclosed around this fence that looked difficult to traverse and like there may be and I knew cops kept an eye on this area pretty good from travelling 56th to get to Pena or even Aurora/Montbello area when I coached, so I said, it's time to lose your outdoor shitting virginity.  This may come as a surprise, but I've never pooped outside before.  Yes, me the notorious pooper that talks too much about my shitting experiences.  I ran to the nearest tree that provided some cover and that wouldn't allow anyone without binoculars to see what was going on and relieved the pressure.  It was not pretty but felt great being able to run without that worry.  I ran the next couple miles at a good pace back up the little hill.  I was feeling fine until about 1.5 miles left.  It was hot.  My Powerade/water mix was warmer than piss and my gut was saying, you didn't think you were off the hook did you.  I ran a good pace for the last 1.25 miles but with a quarter mile or so I stopped dead in my tracks and walked it home.  I knew that a few more hard pounds on the pavement and I'd have the shit walk of shame with crap running down my leg like I was in Kindergarten (and 2nd grade).  After the 2nd one, I have not been afraid to take a shit anywhere because that was embarrassing.  Unfortunately more so from my family than for the poor kid in after school that everyone said had shit himself and I joined in on him instead of taking the blame.  Yes, it is never funny to be known as the guy that shit himself, especially when you went to the same school for 7 years at that time.  I made it home, I finally felt fully relieved and my body was mad.  I ran when it was too hot, I did not fuel adequately or intectually and I paid the price but was prepared for it and it showed me to be smarter in the future and prepare me for my marathon.

Monday, September 10, 2012

30 Mile Week and GU/HydraPak Giveaway...

First, I'll plug another product through another blogger, because I'd like to be a winner someday!!!  It's about the GU products and HydraPak.  Read the Barefoot Inclined Giveaway now to learn more about these workout/running products.

Well, it was a weird 30 miles but I am counting it.  After only running 3 days the  week before because of a tight ITBS and my ADT Relay Labor Day with the Harrington Harriers (FYI, I did e-mail the race director and let them know they were about 13.5 minutes off on my actual time, so they just rounded up to 15, still beating my 1/2 marathon pace!!!) I got 30 in this past week.  I ran my 7.75 mile leg but added about 3 miles of other runs running frp, Checkpoint 2 to my cousin and trailing my Uncle and then about a mile and change, thus I am saying 10.  Then I rested after being tempted to run Tuesday but too tired to wake up and did 4 Wednesday.  Again tempted to do more Thursday but schedule did not allow, so I had in my mind I'd do 5 Friday aternoon and 11 on Sunday to give me 30.  Well, I somehow forgot my work key that morning and decided after carb loading (donut and bagel), I'd run until I knew someone would be in.  It was Friday and the usual early person was out of town so I figured I could get 8-10 miles in and hope I could live with not having as much water on hand as usual.

I started and followed a couple for the first 1/2 mile once I got on the Cherry Creek Trail.  I noticed their pace was about 9:00/mi and thought if you are going to do 8, is that smart?  Oh well, I kept running at that pace.  I got past Holly, then Monaco and the Quebec.  I have ran this path many times especially during spring when I first started my training/life transformation.  When I ran the 3-4 miles on this path, I was like, wow, you went a far way.  I was doing 10 minute miles to 11 min/mi at that time and they were LONG runs.  LOL.  When I got to Quebec that was actually the furthest east I had run but that would have put me at less than 5 and I felt amazing and had a long ways to go to cover 8 miles or longer.  I got to Iliff and was like, wow, this is going well with limited water.  I missed one part in describing this morning.  Amazing, it was a fall weather day.  Cool with enough chill that my hands needed a mile to feel warm, that hasn't been the case for many mooons.  When I got to Iliff, I would have been at just over 6.5 had I turned back.  That wasn't an option.  I realized I had drove to this area a couple times to do an inspection at Cherry Creek Golf Club and shortly after that I saw those ridiculously large houses with the NO TRESPASSING signs littering the creek along the golf course.  The amount of bikers was quite a bit but it was near work time and I figured they had a much quicker route to work on two wheels than two feet.  I didn't care much for the bikers, as usual since few are as friendly as the walkers and runners I have seen in my 6 months, I now wanted 10 miles and that came at a great time.  I had passed the entirety of the golf course and the path was ugly the next mile until it got to Havana and those neighborhoods and there was this awesome bridge that went into a neighborhood that served as a great turnaround point and put me at 5 miles!!!  I ran back with less than 10 ounces of water and only drank about 20 for the entire run.  Usually I need fuel of some sort if I go over 8 but felt awesome.  I averaged just over 9 miles the entire run.  It was a great start to the weekened.

Unfortunately CU is still awful and put a damper on Saturday, but spending the entire day with the family before, during and after the game helped ease the pain.  Yeserday was a nice day of hanging with Sophie while Andi shopped with a work buddy.  Sophie and I had fun.  Unfortunately her being sicks and talking all game made her voice escape her and she was raspy all day.  I also got the chance to cheer up with a Broncos win and a great 7 mile run last night, putting me over 30 miles for the first time.  I only plan on 25 the next couple weeks before ramping up to 30 every week until tapering down.  Should be fun.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

17 Again??? Or is it 16 again?...

I check my weight at least twice a day.  I always did when I was in HS and whenever I had a scale readily available, around when I started coaching wrestling a number of years ago.  Even when I was over 200 and over 210 I did.

Today I weighed 163 when I got up.  The last time I weighed that was probably a month after wrestling season my junior year in March 1998 when I was 16, approaching 17.  14.5 years!!!  I don't want to get much below 160 for my marathon (estimating 155), but I didn't expect to be under 165 until October.  It brought up a lot of memories of losing weight when I was in HS.  I was fortunate compared to most wrestlers, I had more of a fat supply to burn so I would cut pounds not trying.  I started football junior year at 180, by the time the end of the season hit I was weighing 165.  My football coaches were furious saying that I committed to football, why had I started cutting weight for another sport.  Thinking back, maybe that's why they benched me for a game when I missed a pointless 5-minute meeting and had never missed anything in 3 years.  Hmmm.  The truth is, I didn't cut the weight, I just lost it.  My body gets a big kick start when I decide to add a fair amount of excercise to it.  So it comes of little surprise to me that I continue to shed pounds, though I keep eating regularly and enjoy some of the finer things in life like a cinnamon roll once a week. 

Well, I ran yesterday and also read about a marathon man that was more like a marathon fraud man.  It was a great read about a man in his mid-40s that had made up races, shortcut races and what not to try to run sub-3:00 marathons in each state for a fictitous cause for his son with Cystic Fibrosis.  Here is the story from the New Yorker (Kip Litton-Marathon Fraud???).

As for my run, it went great.  I ran 4 miles with all sub 9:00 splits, averaging 8:43/mi.  The weather is beginning to cool, but at 75 degrees and the sun beating down on me, I still was sweating up a lake at the end of my run.  I think I have got used to this warm weather and running.  Curious to see how my body adjusts as the chill of fall continues to creep in.  And with fall comes football, another great reason to get excited for the upcoming months!!!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

ADT Marathon Relay and Labor Day weekend...

This weekend started off poorly.  I admittedly drank stupid drunk on Saturday before the CU-CSU game.  I know my limit, but exceeded it.  I didn't puke and wasn't close but I wasn't a 31 year old.  It made the game less enjoyable but it would not have been anyway.  CU was outcoached and outplayed.  McElwain already appears to make better adjustments than a coach on his 2nd year.  Of course McElwain has many years of experience and is coming from the most successful program in college football over the last few years in Alabama.  CU's staff could learn a lesson about patience, play calling and adjustments.  Their team was motivated and played smart, discilpined football.  It was not a good start to the weekend.

Sunday was a day planned to help my mother-in-law sand and paint her deck.  We were exhausted so we slept in a little and we were about 30-45 minutes behind schedule all day it seemed.  The deck took longer than planned and I kicked over the can of paint and it was just a mess.  I was glad to get it done, but it was one of my tougher days on a day I thought would be a little relaxing mentally, things just didn't go well.  I went to bed at 10:45.  There was an alarm set for 3:45.  Oh joy!!!

That brings us to the ADT Marathon.  My Aunt's knee was not cleared by the doctor so I subbed for her in the Harrington Harrier Marathon Relay team.  I won't lie, I was excited to be part of it but wish I could have had a 4th day off or make yesterday an additional 4 hours to make up for how crazy yesterday was.

I woke up just before 4, showered (yes, I shower even before I get all stinky) and took the dog out and was gone just before 4:20.  All you potheads, I am sorry to disappoint I wasn't talking about your 4:20 and why you found this blog.  I figured a drive and 48 oz of water would allow me to get to Colorado Springs at a decent time to pick my Uncle just after 5:30 and to take care of business.  Wrong!!!    Oh well, I felt alright there anyway.  I got to the starting area with my Uncle just before 6:15.  Too bad we waited 5 minutes or so for a train to pass because by the time I got prepared, it was just after 6:20.  My Uncle thought the start time was 6:30.  I could have sworn the website said 6:45.  There didn't seem to be much rush when I hit the port-a-pottie line at 6:25.  Stop here and start at the next paragraph just below the other bolded area if you don't want details about port-a-potties.  When I got in there at 6:30, I suddenly heard people yelling instructions.  Port-a-potties at football games (someone needs to not eat corn and drink the next morning please) and these events (runners weird diets and their eating habits lacks a solid crap it seems) are disgusting and the one place, even me the poop anywhere guy, I find it tough to do so though I will if I have to.  It is nice that they added a urinal side for the guys so we don't have to look at what's in the toilet.  I feel sorry for women that they have no choice.  I was debating heavily if this was a time I'd just go #2 and I was prepared to do so but with no voices outside the port-a-pottie and someone that shits like a cat spraying the wall, seat, etc, it wasn't even worth a wipe-down to relieve myself and I knew my stomach could now handle 7.5 miles and not be an issue "there" after many long runs.  I decided to just pee and head out.  Done with the port-a-potty talk. 

It was vacant area around the port-a-potties and I expected to at least some relay teams since I saw a few teams that decided to send off their runner together.  I didn't see anyone but spectators and these teams as I crossed the trail to see the marathoners headed down towards me.  SHIT!  Do I wait or do I go?  I ran to the end of the marathoners.  No one was getting close to the start and I had seen a couple other relay green bibs in the group, so I just took off about 10-15 seconds after the last runner.  I should have asked but could not see volunteers and my mind was wandering, should I have started.  Nope, but oh well I guess.  I ran the first mile like a light jog on a long run since I was at the back of all the 4 hr to 5 hr marathon group and felt like I was at the GTIS/Bolder Boulder having to pass runner after runner.  I felt like a dick knowing that I probably started early and I was passing all these people trying to finish 26.2 miles, not a measily 6.75, wait 7.5, who knows? (Get to that part later).  I got to the Mile 1 marker and it opened up after running past the last pace group of 4:00 hours at the 3/4 mile area.

Off-topic:After reading a lot about marathons and these pace groups, I wish these events had something besides the Under 34 age group Boston Qualifying groups.  Not everyone is trying to BQ and not everyone wants to run 4:00 hours to 5:30 hours.  I have changed my visions to 3:45 and Myrtle Beach (my first marathon in February) and most marathons I see concentrate on the 4:00 hours and over and the BQ group.  I do have to say Myrtle should be interesting since they have a women's group qualifier and a lot of long straight aways with no elevation difference so I may be able to see that 3:35 groups flag bobbing up and down down the road.  Anyway, to float back down to earth and talk about the race.

My head was not in it if I did not say that.  I felt like an ass still for passing people I knew had a long road trail ahead of them compared to mine.  The trail was very nice the first few miles.  I knew my pace was solid but not great.  My ears felt pressure like when I am up past 10,000 feet and like in a plane.  It was weird and made my feet pounding on the ground and breathing feel awkward.  I kept pushing anyway.  At Mile 2, I needed liquid, I settled for Gatorade.  Had to stop, I just can't drink on the go easily and may have to have a squeeze bottle for the marathon if I don't want to stop.  Stopping with exhausted legs to get water worries me.  There was a guy that must have started the relay right before me that was sitting back and passed me right before or after this since I knew I had passed him in the small path around Palmer Lake and no one else was behind me when I took off other than the relay runners that got it right.  His speed must have made the marathon people even more like WTF.  How did a relay guy already catch me?!  I knew he was going to bonk on his leg of a relay when I had got closer to him with a little over a mile left after I hadn't seen him the previous 2 miles.  You could tell he had ran 10ks and wasn't built for longer runs and figured an extra half mile at that pace, he figure he'd kill it no problem.  At that magic 10k marker, I almost caught him with his stroll much slower.  I got within 200 yards probably and was hoping to catch him.  No luck with that but I stayed within 200 yards after he caught his 2nd wind.  Right around this 10k mark, I also had a guy BLAZE past me.  He probably started on time and was under 6 minute miles if that was the case.  Damn!!!  I can fortunately say that no one caught me after that and my Uncle had us in mythical second place since the 10k guys other team member had not arrived yet.  Oops!

Before I talk about the rest, I have to say, the notification for the change in distance did not affect me, but to someone that had never done more than 6, but wanted to gut out 3/4 mile more for their leg, the change to another mile on top of that extra 3/4 mile could not have been fun.  The start was confusing and I should have asked someone.  Palmer Lake is dried up and that was sad to see after seeing the views in Georgetown.  My run was great and I wish I had been able to figure out my bathroom issues and started with the other relay runners, but was glad to get ahead of them so I didn't start out too fast thinking I needed to keep up with 6:00/mi and even 7:00/mi types.  I am an 8:00/mi guy at that distance right now if I am going full go and I think I was around 8:15/mi so I am not too disappointed.

Anyway, my Uncle gutted out some nice rolling hills that also were the most beautiful part of the run and coolest part seeing parts of the AFA nearby.  With his coaching football and everything else going on, he had not trained how he'd want to and he was right around 7:00/mi for the toughest parts of the relay.  I tried to keep up with him as he ran the first mile of the 3rd leg of the relay to get to my cousin Emily waiting just beyond Mile Marker 17.  She was under the weather and ran a solid 5 miles.  I got to the 3rd/4th transition leg with my Aunt and cousin Katee.  She had to be the youngest runner (in probably the whole competition) and we saw Emily and Tim right around 2:50.  We were doing well.  Katee is young and as tentative as I was to push a 4 mile run when I got into what I though was a longer distance of anything 4 miles or more.  The good thing is the last 1/2 mile, she whipped into high gear and was an 8:00 pace the last 1/2 mile after not knowing how far she could push the first 3.5.  Our "official time" on the website says, 3:32:54.  I'd like to claim that but my leg was an additional 13 or so minutes more than that and I am going to say we finished in 3:46-3:48ish.  Still a respectable time considering that would have placed us 4th out of 15 co-ed teams.

Some humorous things I heard: I can't run without my headphones.  That lady is wearing Skechers.  She's going to run a full marathon in Skechers.  Some teams started early (I admittedly said I was one of them), so I don't care if they are ahead because they ran with the marathoners.  After reading marathoners blogs, I heard a fan say, you're almost there at the 22 mile mark????  Seriously lady, I am surprised that person wasn't like, STFU?!??!  A marathon runner never wants to hear this unless they are 0.2 miles away.  I can see why, 4.2 miles is not almost there when you have no legs and are exhausted and ready to quit.

It was a great experience being able to be part of a relay with my cousins and Aunt and Uncle.  I wasn't as attractive as my Aunt running, but I hope I did her leg proud.  I really enjoyed seeing my first marathon in person.  It let me see the group I strive to be by February and the pains, triumphs, and everthing else in between of a marathon.  I saw a K-State runner at Mile 22 that was done.  I felt awful for him.  There were people at the finish line that looked like they were like hell no, never again, others that looked like they had won the state title in wrestling and others that were a mixture of those feelings.  To see the pain in some of those peoples bodies be it legs, backs, etc. wow, even more respect for people that have ran that far.

I tried to hurry home and beat my mom there.  For some reason, she figured she needed an appointment to see her grand daughter.  It was awkward and I won't get too much into the discomfort of family drama off my blog, but I want her to see Sophie more and I was glad she could spend a couple hours with her.

I didn't have much time this weekend to enjoy Sophie and our family since I had my fantasy football draft later that night at 4:30.  I look forward to just running when I can and spending much more time with Sophie and Andi next week.  I definitely had a day of not being around them yesterday and while I enjoyed the events I did yesterday, the the biggest part of my life was missing in my wife and kid and that's not how I want it to be.

Monday, August 27, 2012

I Must Run...


I was listen/watching Iron Man races from the past and a link came up on the side that simply said, I am a Marathon Runner.  I am injured.  Before you click on the link, I have to say it made me crack up.  There are a ton of these little videos.  This one in particular reminded me of the routine my Uncle and I have discussed in regards to preparing for a race or long run.  It holds a lot of truths for many runners I am sure.  The injured part reminded me of my Aunt.  She ran the GTIS Half with a bad knee and another not 100%.  She did not have this laundry list of injuries but based off her experience, the experience I've read about other injuries from people running, they throw caution to the wind as well because they are a Runner, they must run.

This is supposedly the conversation a runner has had with his wife before.  Not surprised.  I am sure marathon runners and their spouses that don't run are not always on the same wavelength.  I know I struggle with that myself.
I am a Marathon Runner. I Must Run. I am Injured.

This one is after he gets back from his run.  There is a routine there for runners as well where we use the bathroom, eat, stretch, etc.  We are then reminded hey selfish bastards, you have a family and friends and you need to be somewhere so we must hurry.

I am a Marathon Runner. I must hurry.

That all said, my left knee has been slightly sore here and there.  It goes away but comes at times.  It felt great before my 1/2 marathon but a couple days after, it's back to very minimal discomfort, but I am a runner, I must run.  I am sure it will get better, because I am a runner, I must run.  :)

Anyway, a very relaxing week of running.  I almost snuck in an extra run but with so many things to do on Saturday, I am glad I waited to get my longer run (11 miles) on Sunday morning and not do a 4 ahead of time.  My legs felt good.  I played it smart keeping my pace between 9:35 and 10:15 throughout my run.  You don't realize how much ground you can cover on your feet until you start running.  I ran what is the first 1/3 of our drive from the in-laws house to our house yesterday to a big open space pond.  I remember when I used to think that was a decent distance.  4.5 miles, really, a long distance?!  4 miles runs used to be excruciating but now they are energizing and just a prelude to a longer weekend.  Hoping my knee pain stays minimal.  Hoping my Aunt's knee improves dramatically and quickly or the doctor has some magical fixer.  I may have to take the baton from her for the opening leg of the ADT marathon relay my Aunt and Uncle are doing with my cousins.  I would love to be a part of it, but only if my Aunt just can't run it and is going to cause more issues to her knee.  But she is a runner, she must run.  So we will see. 

The week before Labor Day weekend.  Pretty exciting weekend ahead.  Going to go watch CU play CSU for their annual showdown at Invesco.  Then family BBQ and some work around the in-laws house to help with the improvements there.  Then Labor Day will be ADT Relay, if I fill in for my Aunt, family time and my fantasy football draft.  Yes, we do a last minute draft, but you get to see who the starters will be come the following week.  An example of this is the QB situation in Seattle.

Anyway, I am a big Buffs fan and will leave my crap talking for another time when both programs warrant it.  It is sad to see the game at Invesco and the fan support atrocious.  CU at least filled about 80-85% of their seats last year and they get 55% of the stadiums seats.  CSU only had about 16,000 of their 35,000 seats filled last season. It was pathetic.  This is the first start of the football season without my father-in-law.  I know going to games will not be the same, as they were difficult to do the couple games last season.  Either way, I am sure his seat is better than any of ours.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Dreams...

My week has been full of crazy dreams and daydreaming about things I thought people were insane to even attempt.  I'll touch on those things (much further below, I am a rambler, what can I say?!)but something that I am going to use as my M.O. I've decided is something that's been said in many ways but since I can't find a google search for it, I'll claim it:

"The only challenges you can not conquer are the ones you don't attempt to do!"-Andy Ventura, Aug 23, 2012

Another thing I hate hearing is CAN'T.  When I coached, that was one of the things I didn't allow to be said in the room.  There is always someone achieving something that has never been done before from an athletic to inventive standpoint.  If people did not attempt to better themselves with training and saying, I CAN do that, the human species would be stuck in a far worse place, athletic events would not be entertaining and people would not strive to better themselves.  I see that runners are CAN people.  This isn't saying other people aren't in other ways or don't accomplish many things that are AMAZING feats but runners strive to better their lives through this means of excercise and challenge their body and mind and find ways to get better at it.  I am seeing that that may be the reason why I love running.  I feel like I CAN do more.
The few that have read my blogs know of my LIFE challenge that started this March and how far I've come.  40 lbs is a long way and I've sustained staying at 170 or below for over a month.  Diet is the number one reason for the change, but without excercise I don't believe it can be sustained.  I've gone on multiple weight losses to get back down from 205-210 to get back to 185-190.  Each time it didn't last more than a few months before I was over 200 because I wasn't burning anything EXTRA I was consuming.  Anyway, back to dreams.

I've been reading a lot about marathons, ironmans and even ultras.  All seem to have an appeal to me.  You have to walk before you crawl they say but what if you adjust your life and change your ways so you can walk shortly after crawling?  I feel like I am doing the things necessary to have a successful first marathon.  My Uncle put us on a long plan that seems to be working really well for me and I want more.  I am tempering this by waiting a month before I start "walking" from this crawl stage into becoming a marathoner.  I say this because while I've been running a fair amount for the everyday average person, I've only really been doing mileage that someone would train for for a half marathon.  26 miles and 4 days (a couple 5 day weeks but those were earlier on) have been my longest week of running. At the end of September I won't be under 5 days and 30 miles until I begin tapering down.  My old plan also only had me getting up to 40 miles once during my plan.  I get there 7 times in my new plan and I hit 20 mile 6 times compared to the previous 3.  It will be difficult, but I CAN and will conquer this challenge.

Back to dreaming:
I've had some crazy dreams this week.  On Sunday night it was me being at the Bolder Boulder.  I had qualified for the CA group (which is true from my GTIS Half time) and was ready to go but I HAD to pee and wasn't going to start and have to stop when I could start later.  Only problem was every time I went to go to a bathroom, I waited 5 minutes or longer.  Finally I got to a port-a-pottie and people were going to the bathroom but they were completely immersed in water while standing up and going pee (they must have been all guys and why were the doors open, but I only saw the backside thank goodness or the dream may have went somewhere that most states don't believe is right and I wouldn't or don't prefer doing but have no issues with, anyway...), and there was no way I was going to do that so I wandered aimlessly as I saw the EG group I was in this year take off and then woke up.  I went pee after I woke to prove my dream I was the boss.

That day Sophie was sick so I worked the night from 11-4 to get some things out the door at work since I needed to take Tuesday as a sick day.  I went to sleep immediately after showering when I got home (sorry I don't sleep without taking a shower even at 4 a.m.).  I crashed hard and in the 3hours I slept, I had two seperate dreams that centered around the same thing (no not sex though I am a man so I am sure there is some study that says I daydream about it 25% of the day) BLACKING OUT.  In both dreams I ended up somewhere after blacking out.  One was a family vacation where I woke up on the ground in front of everybody after just leaving work.  Another was ending up at another airport after driving to DIA to see my brother.  I woke up in his front yard.  Now if I could travel like that in life and it be only mere seconds, I wouldn't mind dreaming like that.  I've had other dreams where I am driving and become incoherent and can't stay awake or the car is driving itself and I am in the backseat making feeble attempts and can't move my body.  In all cases I think it's my mind talking to me about being exhausted and not being able to function right and I believe many of those dreams happen when I only get very little sleep.

Then I've daydreamed a lot and wondered if I could do more, getting back to my crawling before walking part.  Marathons sound like a beast of a distance but I see a smaller group of people talking about running 100 miles and I am awed by it and wonder, could I, should I.  It is idiotic, insane and stupid and something that I don't expect people to support immediately, but when I run 26.2 and then do it again and do a couple long runs of 30+ miles... we'll see.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Men have feelings too. No, not just the hippies...

I drive by a sign for Mantherapy.org almost everyday on my way into work.  It makes me laugh and/or smile every time I see it or think about it.  I also went to the website as I was typing this and the site is hysterical.  It also makes me think of Flight of the Conchords song "Hurt Feelings" every time as well.  Ah, the simple things in life.

It also makes me think of stories of reading about grown, tough men that have ran marathons and wept like babies at the end.  I feel I'll be doing enough 20 mile runs that I'll cry by myself a handful of times that I'll only have tiny tears of awesomeness leaking from my eyes.  I have been reading a lot about running and training and just love going on a run.  I have been running for 5 months and have not missed a run yet.  I actually am so excited about what I did at GTIS and what I've been doing that after a month of LIFE running or my long-term running, 4-5-4-11, I plan on ramping up to an advanced runners schedule of 5 days a week starting late September and multiple 20 mile runs before the 3 of us (I refuse to use the term 3some involving 3 men, especially of the same bloodline, but may have different thoughts if it were a Sandberg, Gaga and Timberlake sort of thing, It's a SNL thing) run Myrtle Beach and the vaunted 26.2.  I am excited but I am curbing that excitement and seeing how my body handles 24 miles a week regularly and if I can improve my diet in that timeframe.

I really need to think about some of the times I say I am rewarding myself.  I will grab a cinnamon roll or donuts once a week and not feel bad but when it's a couple times and I mix fast food in, that's not helping even if my weight my stay the same.  I'd like to tone up and part of that is eating more super foods and fruits  Unfortunately my favorite fruits of blackberries and raspberries are no longer summer cheap but I enjoy a banana (I can't type that without snickering) every day.

Chia has helped regulate my body. It is a great seed to eat and I plan to add to that food.

I've been running along OLD Buckley road.  It can not have been opened for at least 15-20 years.  I see beer bottles and other old car parts that look that age and older.  It is along the eastern side of the Rocky Mountain Arsenal trail that goes all the way around the exterior of the arsenal.  The first time I ran it, my bodywash smelled like Ammonia!  Weird.  Who knows excatly what was dumped and happened in that area.  Anyway, my goal is to use my 11 mile run and run to 56th Avenue and back and say I've ran the Eastern and Northern boundaries of the Arsenal.  Of course, these are the two shortest sides but my ultimate goal will be to run around the entire thing.  I believe this is just over 20 miles and while it's not the most beautiful run, it's a great run during the middle of the day, especially since you can see downtown and the mountain ranges for a long part of it. 

Last, I have running fever like the Jamaican's had bobsledding fever in Cool Runnings.  I am thinking what is next already and all I've done is a half.  The full is still 1/2 a year away but I am stoked.  Instead of cheating our pact, I've decided ramping up mileage is more what I am interested in since I want to be fully prepared for the marathon.  Here's to staying healthy and accomplishing that goal before I dive too deep into the next running goals that may come about.  Like everyone says, including world class marathoners, you hit the wall from 17-20 and it's now a battle between body and mind and having them work together.

Monday, August 13, 2012

GTIS Half Marathon Recap...

1:51:51 was final chip time.  I crossed the finish line of the GTIS and it said 1:52:30.  My goal time had been 1:55 which would have put me at 8:45/mi pace.   I have been running with my iPhone the last 3 weeks and was thinking I had become dependent upon it to give me a kick and make sure I was on pace.  I was worrying whether I should run with a watch or even my hydration belt just so I could have that crutch in my pocket and know how I was doing.  But I decided Friday night I would run "free" like I had been  for the majority of my training and decided to just have my car key and a honey stinger waffle on me for something to put energy in me.  I also knew there would be a pace group that was running 1:55:00 and if I kept with them, I'd be fine.

Friday night, my Uncle and Aunt went up to Idaho Springs to get my bib. So, I went to bed knowing I didn't have to fight through traffic (human) to get to the race and find my bib and stand around.  I was able to completely prepare myself from eating a piece of bread, a little fruit, drinking my chia and consuming liquids in water and Powerade FORM.  When I got to their house, I was primed to visit one of my favorite rooms of any house or building I visit, the bathroom.  I won't go into details for those queasy of stomach regarding that but I was glad that was taken care of.  Or was it...

I drove up to Idaho Springs to park my car while my Uncle and Aunt followed me.  On a side note, my Aunt's knee was in pain and she did not seem too excited but I knew she was too tough of a person to quit, so I expected her to make it whether she was running, walking or whatever means were necessary.  So we found a spot and it was within a couple blocks of the finishing area.  Kind of funny everyone parked near town while we got probably one of the best spots later in the morning aroun 7:00.  We then headed up to Georgetown.  My Aunt needed to find her pit stop like anyone that has ran more than 3 miles knows is necessary.  Well, so did I.  I felt relieved I had a second opportunity and it was a poreclain throan with no one waiting and doing the potty dance instead of a plastic one with dozens waiting.  I Vasolined up the possible chaffige areas though since I've lost all my weight the only concern is my nipples or my running belt.  I had the nipples taken care of with my waterproof NexCare 3M band-aids.  I cursed them the first time I tried to use them in the pitch black and they wouldn't stick to anything.  Well after a couple test runs I found they are awesome and will be stocking up on these for long runs.  We were then off to park.  We parked a little way away from the start.  About 3/4 of a mile, but it was good to allow us to warm up our legs walking.  I don't understand the people running sprints or jogging a mile or two or 3 before a run.  The first couple miles of this run and the amount of people were perfect to set up for warm-up for the whole event.  The temperature was awesome.  Not too cold you needed an extra shirt or trash bag (except the 0% body fat old people I saw wearing them) but enough it would take a few miles of running to warm up.  Georgetown to Idaho Springs is beautiful.  You only realize this when you aren't cursing the stop and go traffic or speeding through I-70.  A run down this road was a great way to see what you miss out on.  Anyway, before the start I fought the port-a-potty line.  Yes, I have a weak bladder and I needed to only pee this time.  If I hadn't I would have run poorly, plus I knew it was a chip timed run so why worry if I started a minute late.  I felt relieved (that's why they say "go relieve yourself" after all) and ready to start.  The best part was they were still blabbing about things and I was able to be that asshole that butts in line with 1000s of others waiting to cross the little guardrail.  The event was a record crowd of over 3100 participants.  A beautiful morning and view and a way to start the weekend.  And...

I was off and I saw my goal in site, the 1:55 pace group about 15 seconds or so ahead.  I told myself, keep them in sight and that's all you have to do this whole time.  Well, I knew I had to make some moves with the walkers and slower paced people so I hugged the pothole/road missing part of the shoulder until we headed into town and the little neighborhood.  There were many others that were "jockeying" for position as well, so I didn't worry if a walker got nudged out of the way a little with a slight forearm tap.  LOL.  The dirt road through the neighborhood reminded me of a fishing communities neighborhood with the way the houses were set up and the lake near by.  Of course this isn't an ocean, but a nice quiet mountain town.  I saw very few locals out and about cheering people on.  They either must  have been running or hate Clear Creek High School and the people that supported this.  Or maybe they were along the bridge area with all the other people cheering everyone on.  Either way, the first two miles were fast and were welcomed because it meant there was no more log jam.  People had pretty much started spreading out enough to move around.  Don't get me wrong, I spent part of the next 11 miles being stopped by diagonal running people like I was at the Bolder Boulder but it thinned out dramatically as you got further along.  One thing I could tell early on is this wasn't my typical long run, my legs would be burning like a 5k or 10k the entire time if I wanted to push the pace.  I also think my legs were a little sore from playing stair bobsledding with Sophie the night before and not wanting to wuss out and going a dozen times instead of the 2 or 3 I said I should.  That and I ran my ass off all week with high intensity runs Tuesday and Wednesday.  But I knew my legs would be fine so I kept at my pace.  At about the 5k mark, I passed the 1:55 pace group.  Now all I had to do was stay ahead of them.  One thing I did not do is look back the whole run.  I didn't want to have to race the pace group until it was neccessary.  I spent the next mile enjoying a downhill and passing a lot of people.  They were probably laughing at me knowing I was that idiot rookie runner.  They were only part right, I am only half idiot.  Clear Creek being next to you for so much of the run made it nice but looking up 1000s of feet to the mountains made the run go by fast.  Looking around was minimal because people still were around in large amounts.  Aid station at Mile 8 was not easy for me.  I had managed to barely choke down a honey stinger waffle half bar thinking the water station was around the corner when it was still a 1/2 mile away.  The helpers here were not as plentiful and were jumping in front of runners.  A taller guy put his arm into my back twice while I was getting the same water and gatorade he was.  Oh well, I am still stocky and built like a wrestler and could have taken him but all I was thinking was, I'm running and keep it up.  Also at this time I was like, 5 miles is not that far since you've done this before.  Well, every aid station seemed to be more than 2 miles apart though I knew it was Head Games!!!

I got to 10 and was like everyone else.  Only a 5k ahead and I do these for breakfast.  The run from 10-12 was actually less of a pain mentally than from 9-10 and once I saw 12 my goal was to pass a couple people.  Goal accomplished but unfortunately the last 1/2 mile seemed like it was a lot longer than what it actually was.  I was like, damn they put the 12 marker at 11 because this is one long mile.  I think I felt that expression all around me.  Finally when I saw people veering right, I knew the finish wasn't far off.  I could not see the clock due to people standing in front of it, but I saw seconds ticking up so I just gave what I could without pulling a muscle.  The clock said 1:52:30 before I looked forward to cross the line and run through the imaginary tape.

I was stoked and was looking for my Uncle and running coach/guide after I crossed excited to share the news.  He had a smile on his face when I finally spotted him and you could tell he had a good run and that he was even more happy for myself and doing so well.  I was a little taken aback.  There were times I had been running and had questioned if I had missed my 1:55 pace group passing me at a water station or when I was just zoned out.  I was glad to see that clock at the finish and realize I had met my goal.  My Aunt trooped along and you could tell she was fighting pain but she crossed the finish line in under 2:30 with a bum knee and not feeling the best.  So a few items I'd like to note I missed on in the rambling above.

  • It is a great sight seing so many people running together and enjoying a day off being active and running a distance most people would never even consider attempting.
  • I saw a family of about 10-12 that looked like all of them had ran it but a couple that hung out with the great-grand kids.  How cool would it be running that long with your grandparents, parents, brothers/etc? 
  • The course is a great course.  They stay stick to the right lane, but runners had their freedom for most of the course.  There was maybe half a dozen cars that didn't know there was a race or didn't care and worked around us all up or down the road.  The one thing that frightened me was the sand pit through the trail portion at Mile like 7+.  I hit that after being on only hard surfaces and was like, not a good idea!  I am glad I didn't hurt myself there.
  • The HS and school district uses this as a fundraiser.  Awesome.  I just wish the water stations were a little more spread out.  I found it hard not to stop at many of them rather than keep jogging.  You could tell who had prepared and which groups were "just there".
  • Beau Jos and Tommyknocker!  Come on.  Some coupons for pizza and some 2 oz beer samples would put this event over the top.  You guys can spare a few bucks considering I am sure business was humming already for you guys because of everyone there!
  • For the price and the views and a more challenging course than you'd expect from 1000 feet drop in elevation, I am doing this race again next year no doubt.  I may carry some of my own water to make up a couple minutes at a few of the crazy water stations and to store some fuel but I can't complain much.  Had a great run and it was nice being able to share it with two really great family members.  They also treated me to a delicious chicken sandwich at SmashBurger after, so that was another perk.
On a closing sad note, I had a missed call at 9:20 from Andi.  I was like, she wouldn't have called in the middle of my run for nothing and was like oh no!  Sophie had got bit by a bug and her face had swollen badly.  She was at Children's Urgent Care when I finally got my phone and called her but was fine.  The swelling went down over night and she looked and acted normal fully within 24 hours.  Andi acted swiftly, with a nice assist from her mom, and I felt bad not being there, but I knew it was not a 911 situation when I talked to her and that Sophie would be fine.  I also got a delicious Lasagna dinner my mother-in-law made that night that reminded me of what my mom used to make growing up full of cheese and sauce.  Actually going to have some leftovers again tonight.  I hate leftovers typically but if it's pasta related, that goes out the window. 

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Family Fun Club's Everyday Endurance Clothing...

I am prostituting myself out in this blog to try to win something free.  Since I don't twat or telleveryonewhatimdoingsotheycankillmeorstealfrommeorrapeme (facebook), I figured I'd get an entry into my favorite blogger ShutUpandRun (someone that blogs about running and her shit issues are both a new topic I have found much love for recently (running) and since I can remember (shit issues)).

I recommend if you read my blogs and enjoy running you read her articles.  They are not all about shit (well 50% of them have a shout out to them it seems) but about many topics involving running.  She is funny and has a lot of great reads, so go join and maybe if you win a shirt because of it, you'll let me have a shirt of yours as a thanks.

They have plenty of cool apparel and accessory designs for the active and those who are becoming active lifestyle or just enjoy something different for a design.  Their link is: http://www.yourapparelsource.com/familyfanclub/

Monday, August 6, 2012

Running with a vengeance (5 days to GTIS)...

The last month I have really began letting my body judge what it can do and not let my mind tell me what it can do.  My speed has increased because of it.  I can also tell I am not pushing it.  My goal went from running 9:30/miles for the marathon and a 2:05 overall to 8:45/miles and 1:55 overall.  I believe there are a few factors that have made me get to this point, listed below:
  • Weight-Lifting aroudn 40 lbs off my shoulders has been huge.  Carrying my daughter and the stuff we pack to grandma's house every weekend is what I was doing when I first started this journey 5 months ago.  I remember when I ran 4 miles the first time after running/light jogging only 3 miles the first 3 and a half weeks of training and thinking, wow, this extra mile is a lot. 
  • Distance-Expert writing there.  See how the segway above led into this.  Slowly building up to running 14 miles a couple weeks ago and running long runs of 11 miles or more 4 weeks in a row have helped my shorter runs increase in speeds.  My longer runs have increased in speed by about 30-45 seconds per mile.  Not pushing it harder.  I just have got more comfortable running.
  • Running-Again a nice segway.  I had never ran more than 3-5 miles and that was maybe a total of a dozen times in my life.  In over 10 years I had not ran more than 2 miles without stopping and walking.  My body has found it's comfort level.
  • Pacing-My breathing and how my body feels really help me determine how hard I am pushing it.  I ran 6 miles for my week's long run this week since I did my tapering.  Felt better than when I ran 10 miles the first time on my birthday.  Two months ago, I felt great, but nothing like today.
I am excited.  I am ready.  As long as I stay upright, I feel very confident I will beat 2 hours and hopefully exceed my goal of 1:55.

As for other happenings other than running or involving it...

Last Saturday, the 28th of July, I ran 11.  I got out late and it was one of the hotter long runs I did but I used my phone's Nike GPS to let me run free and it was a great run and I could tell I was ready for my half.  One thing that is great of having something to keep your distance is you don't have to map out your run ahead of time.  It has me thinking of getting a GPS watch instead of having to put my phone in my running belt. 

Friday, the 3rd, I was headed into work a little later and went my Santiago's breakfast burrito route of my old Colorado Blvd way instead of going down much more relaxed and scenic Monaco.  I was glad I did.  I spotted some guy pushing his own car while steering it under I-270.  I was glad it was later since that area is usually congested until 8:30 which it was at the time.  Guess it cleared out early today.  I stopped on the very small shoulder that that area has and ran back to help the guy.  Guy simply ran out of gas.  I had been there over a month ago when the family was trying to get to our pictures and pushed it too far and was less than a 1/4 gallon from our destination.  We were lucky to be on E-470 and get their awesome assistance.  (Really was, not being a smart arss like normal).  Anyway, I took him to a gas station just a little over a mile from where we were.  He kept talking about paying it forward and how he wish he could repay me and it sounded like he had already had a tough morning at unemployment.  Just knowing I could help the guy out a little was reward enough.  I've had plenty of down days where a pick me up or some assistance was all I needed.  Hoping times get better for him.

This weekend, Andi and I went to the Rockies game.  We went to Lodo's with her work ahead of time.  It was fun.  Made me realize that grabbing a couple beers on a rooftop should be done more often as long as you don't have to sit next to some early 20s a-holes, which we fortunately weren't.  I got to do some Century Link True or False trivia after the 5th inning.  I never thought I'd get the chance to do something at a game or win anything and while the prize was lame ($25 to concessions or retail), I was able to get Sophie a little stuffed animal for free.  I am tired of the Rockies but I see why they draw well.  It is a comfortable ball park and people go there for pre-night time downtown fun and warm up their socializing skills.  It was fun, I got to talk about my love for Tim Tebow and spend some time with my wife and her co-workers and had plenty of laughs and happy times.  Oh and I saw some guy named Sean Begay from Mines with his wife from there.  Him and I had talked many times at Mines but I guess 10 years and 40-55 lbs (I was as heavy as 225 at Mines) will make a person not recall who you were.  We talked a couple minutes and I got to meet their cute baby.  Just a fun side note.

One of my best friends from HS, Nate, had his bachelor party this weekend.  I just couldn't find time to make it to any of the bash and felt shitty not being able to do so, but that's the crappy part of life, you always are missign out on something but as was the case this weekend, I truly got to enjoy what I was doing.  Him and I can go months without a hello and missing what'st going on in our lives and know that we still care about each other and have plenty to talk about when we do catch up.  People are busy and have their lives, we know that.  Planning on a lunch meet-up before Andi and I attend him and his soon-to-be bride Jennifer's wedding in September.  Hope his other friends made it a great weekend for him.



Thursday, August 2, 2012

Running Scared (and Stupid???)...

So a week and a half ago I went to the Western Slope over to Cedaredge to help my in-laws with work on the property my in-laws own.  I drove way too fast getting out there, stupid move #1, but it was early and traffic was minor so I figured why not hit 110 mph?!  I may not be a smart man, but I know what love is, Jenny!

Anyway, got there and I didn't need to rush over since we were waiting to get going when I got there.  Then we spent a lot of time standing around but did some tree stacking and what not on the property that was good.  I got paid way too much for it but that's okay, it was nice of my mother.  Anyway, we cleaned up and after chit chatting a little while with my wife's Aunt, we went and visited my father-in-laws best friend and his family.  It was good for my brother-in-law and mother-in-law to share that time with them.  I wish my wife and other brother-in-law could have been there with us.  Unfortunately after 4 hours of sleep and the day, I was nodding off and on.  On my mind was the run at hand the next day.  I knew I wouldn't be asleep until around 1 and I was getting up at 4:40 to run 13 miles plus miles.  I woke up and it was pitch black.  The area I was running at was isolated, very quiet and notorious for bobcats, mountain lion and coyote activity.  There was no light along the route and I knew the sun was 45 minutes from providing any light on the run.  I had a phone that had 25% battery life (camper we were in didn't have electricity due to circuit breaker issue).  Against better thoughts and thinking, I wouldn't have seen or heard any imminent attack until it was too late, I went out just after 5:00.  I needed my run and it was a perfect training run for the Georgetown to Idaho Springs Half Marathon.  It was 1200 feet of elevation drop and had a nice uphill to challenge in a short spot of it and it was just less than 13 miles from where I was headed.  My brother-in-law agreed to pick me up around 7.  So...

I set off.  I could see the road ahead of me with my phones flashlight and I just ran.  I ran fast.  I knew it but I was going downhill at a good slope and I was nervous.  I knew I was ill prepared to run in the dark with no sidewalk and lighting but I did not even think about cars.  I knew I may see some cars, but it was early Sunday and it is a hard working area where people were probably going to finally get to sleep in or not be active until past 6.  Well, I did see a car about 2 miles in and it was pitch black but I didn't have to call anyone, the guy just kept going.  Other than that, I saw shades of cows and started seeing light 45 minutes into my run.  Finally.  My battery was less than 8% and I knew I needed to keep it to call my brother-in-law.  I ran with the light amount of light which was enough to now see the road fully and what was ahead.  I felt some relief knowing town was just over the hill and down the road a mile or so.  By the time I got to mile marker 6, I knew I needed to take a quick bathroom break and saw that I had ran an average of around 9:20/mi.  WAY TOO FAST.  I was on a time restraint though (or so I thought) and needed to be done by 7ish and wanted to get it done.  I went into the gas station and there was an old guy drinking coffee and reading the paper at a counter with an attendant.  I left 5 or less minutes later and this lady was counting stacks of money.  I was like, wow!!!  What if?!  I wished them a good day and took off.  There was a ton of light but it still hadn't peaked over the other side of the hills yet.  I had a much more gradual downhill for the next 3.5 miles.  The temperature was great.  I felt great.  I spent the rest of the run just enjoying the run downhill.  By the time I got to the last 1/2 mile the sun was fully out and I ran an extra mile waiting for my brother-in-law.  My legs felt great and my pace would have been a solid time for a half marathon.  I was excited but was it stupid?  Maybe.  Nothing happened, but something could have and I need to think about my safety and my families concerns if I am going to run at crazy times and with it dark out.

Well, I am missing this past week's runs but I'll get to that another time.  Not much to report.  Pretty much I have started tapering down for the 1/2  marathon.  My Yasso runs have been consistently in the 4:00 range.  And I feel much faster and better than when I ran my first two races in May.  This should be a fun week and a half.  I am looking forward to it.  I'll give some updates before the race.  Until then, happy running.