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Jun 30, 2011

Fourth funeral in a year.....

Only 3 miles today....and that was on the schedule!  I love you Mr. Higdon.  Thank you for a little break!  Another great day to run!!!!!  High 50's, no humidity, sunny!  This is awesome!


So today was another funeral for me.  I've had so many over the last year.  This is my fourth in the last year to be exact  This post is in tribute to one of my faithful friends.  Here's her good qualities:

1)  I could always count on her to be there for me no matter the situation.
2)  I often came to her for support at least twice a week.
3)  She was never jealous of my other supports.
4)  I got to know her better than many people I know.
5)  We shared many hours of hard work together and trained through a marathon together.
6)  She was cheap!(It's good, trust me).

So I bid farewell to her.  Fortunately for me, I have a couple replacements in store so I can look forward to many more hours of hard work.


What else did you think?  That I would blog about a funeral?  My shoes!  Their toast!

Yep, another pair bites the dust.  400 miles and I'm out.  I keep track of every mile.  Is it low?  Probably.  Could I go more - of course.  But.  I always have problems with my legs after 400 miles so off they go to their next use.  I gladly trade them in for new ones to keep my legs running strong.  Next use?  I use them to cut grass(usually).  I'll be using this pair for a mud run in July(Warrior Dash) which will then get thrown out after the race.

Fortunately for me I have two more pairs of the same shoe on standby in my closet.  Then what to do?  These last two pairs are like 7th-8th pair of Saucony Ride 2's.  Only $50 bucks online!!!!  I've also tried Brooks Ghost(eh) and a cheap pair of NB(when I first started walking)  I guess I'll be going to the Ride 3's(also $50 or $60 online) or Ride 4's, the current version.  I've got a little over 500 miles until my next marathon so I know these(2) will get me through the season.  I have had much success with Saucony and so I'm likely to go that way again.  Here's the new Ride 4 colors - I'll probably get them all at some point!

What do you wear?  What do you like?  I only wear neutral shoes.  They work for me.

I have not gotten into minimalist shoes and probably will not yet.  If I could run in them all the time right away, perhaps I would get a pair but I know I can't do that.  I tried on a pair of Vibram 5 fingers.  They are NOT for me.  I don't like the toe things. They might be Ok to walk around in but thanks!  Maybe the Saucony Hattori with no separated toes?  I have not tried them on but I bet they are comfortable.  How about just regular cushioned neutral running shoes?

Question of the day?  How long do you run in your shoes?  Do you keep track of your miles on them?

Have a great day and.....Keep Running!!!!!!

Jun 29, 2011

70.3 is it really that bad?

5 miles on the schedule today and that's what I did.  I know you guys are bored of hearing about that.  Haha.  Just your average run today but it was really nice out - no humidity, high 50's and sunny.  What more could you ask for?


As some of you know, I've been mulling around the idea of doing a triathlon.  I've booked so many running races this year(5 left to go) that I can't seem to find a triathlon to do.  Actually there is one that I would like to do but it's like $150 bucks now - for a Sprint!  Jeez.  I know that these races are more expensive but jeez that a lot of money.  If I wait until next year, I can get into some races for as low as $55-65 which is much more reasonable.  I'd really like to get at least a sprint in so that I have an idea that I want to actually do these but I'm sure I will like it.

I also think that I've(almost) convinced myself into doing a half ironman next year.  This distance seems to be the most I'm going to be able to do with my current equipment.  I would really need a new bike for anything longer.  I have been looking at all the races that are within about a 5 hour drive.  I have narrowed it down to two that I'm considering.  The first is an Ironman 70.3 race in Muncie, Indiana.  It's actually coming up very soon but I would do the one next year.  Why this race?  It's about a 5 hour drive from my home.  Overall it's flat.  The swim(which still scares the hell out of me) is in a preserve that typically has calm waters and will not be a swim like in a great lake or river where there is a current or really cold.  Do I sound like a wuss or what?  This race is also only $200 when you sign up early so not too bad.

The other race I'm considering is the Rev3 70.3 in Cedar Point.  This one is only about 3 hours away.  The nice thing about this is the course is overall flat.  The swim is what really scares me since you have to swim in Lake Erie(cold and current).  It's at a great location at Cedar Point.  If you have never been there, it's a great amusement park.  I have heard some really great things about Rev3.

The big issue for me is swimming.  Can I swim 1.2 miles?  Hell, can I even swim 0.5 mile?  Fortunately, we have many lakes in Michigan so I will be taking full advantage of them when I'm on vacation this summer to get used to swimming longer distances.  I think most people freak out about the swim because they don't like open water but that's really never been an issue for me.  It's more about doing the distance and doing it in the time allowed.  In the Ironman 70.3, it has to be done in 1 hour 10 minutes?  I assume that is do-able for most people but I hate to train for many months and then miss the cutoff and not be able to finish.  I really need to take a class about changing a tire as well.  A co-worker of mine trained for months for an Olympic tri and then got a flat after one mile but did not have a spare tube so he DNF.  I don't want that to happen to me.

Yes, Ok, I'm rambling and I know you have heard this from me before but writing it down helps convince myself that I should do this.  With running, I'm always in my comfort zone no matter the distance.  Not that I'm a super runner or anything but if you can run one, you can run many.  With tri's, it's the unknown - I'm out of my comfort zone.  I really should not back out of something just because I have not done it before.

The other big decision is training - 10-12 hours per week at least!  Wowza, and I thought marathon training was long.  Due to the time commitment, it will mean more training will need to be done after work as well as before work.  I can deal with before since nobody in my family is up then but, after work, takes time away from other things and it makes me gone all Sunday morning for 4-6 months.

Decision, decisions?  What would you do?  Is 70.3 really that bad to do?

Have a great day and....Keep Running!!!!!!

Jun 28, 2011

Solstice/Upnorth Pictures

5 miles on the schedule today....Done!  It was hot and it was humid!  I know anytime I see my temperature gage showing 70 or more, I'm in for a sweating run and this one surely did not disappoint.


The race pictures for the Solstice Run came out.  Here they are:

T and I near the beginning

Not sure what I'm doing with my mouth here?

T only

This girl helped pace me the whole way!

At the end and still smiling - that's a good sign.

Back to concentration
I guess I'm photogenic when it comes to race pictures.  Usually there's at least one that turns out Ok.  Notice my shirt - my marathon shirt!  I got lots of screams about the shirt.

I will be running up north shortly.  I love running up north near my cottage.  I always feel like I'm a million miles away from everyone when I'm running up there.  Don't you just love the change of scenery of a new run in a different place?  My plan is to run the 10k route that I'll be doing in a few weeks.  What better way to prepare for a race than to run the actual course.  I don't get many chances to do that since most of the races I run are not that close.  Here's a few pictures from a run I did up north last fall.  I can't wait to be up there.  Of course, whenever I'm up there, I'm on vacation so I get the added bonus of not having to work so you get to be very relaxed.

Otsego Lake Sunrise - Gaylord

Otsego Lake at Sunrise - Gaylord

Lakes course - Gaylord

Lakes Course - Gaylord



In my backyard
Ah, how I love up North in Michigan!!!  Especially when running!!!

Question of the day:  What's your favorite place to run?  Mine is between upnorth Michigan and Downtown Detroit.  Big difference, I know!

Have a great day and.....Keep Running!!!!!!

Jun 27, 2011

Rest day....

Rest day today.  Not used to getting a rest day during the week.  The change is kind of nice!


I'm signed up for another race in two weeks.  Normally I wait a month between races but I did not want to miss this one.  This one is a hometown run called Alpenfest which is located in downtown Gaylord.  I really enjoyed doing this race last year for several reasons:

1)  It's smaller which is nice
2)  It's got some challenge to it - you get a couple hills
3)  It's a nice run from downtown Gaylord through neighborhoods and then through Aspen Park which is scenic and feels in the woods.
4)  It's nice and close to my cottage so I don't have to get up at 4am to go to it.  Haha!
5)  They had strawberries at last years finish and gave away some nice prizes if you placed in your AG.
6)  It's only $25
7)  The shirt they gave away last year was an underarmour shirt - really nice.

This year the race is being run by so it will be interesting to see how they do with races.

This is a company that does many of the tri's in Michigan, and since I've been thinking of doing a tri next year, it will be good to rate how they manage a race to give me an idea how the tri would be run.  I've heard good things about them.

Have a great day and......Keep Running!!!!!!

Jun 26, 2011

Solstice 10 mile race report

Rest day was scheduled today.  I ended up doing about 12 miles on the bike at Stoney Creek as a recovery run.  Legs felt great.  I'll take my rest day tomorrow.  I'm thinking of changing my schedule so that I bike on Saturday or Sunday morning so that I can do it on the weekend at Stoney Creek.  Usually my cross train day is on Monday's but I would have to ride the bike out my door and I'm not sure it's practical to get in the miles.  Decisions, decisions.


This is a long post - if you want the results, scroll down near the bottom!

The Solstice Run 10 mile race was the first race that I ever did double digits.  I ran this race last year and the weather was nice.  It was perfect conditions for running this year.  Cool, overcast sky, a breeze the entire time - really, what more could you ask for at the end of June?

The day started at 4:30am.  Yikes.  That's early.  It's scary but I woke up on my own without an alarm clock.  I got ready and ate my traditional half banana and granola bar for breakfast with some water.  I had to pick up my running buddy and his co-worker at 5:30am at his home.  I got there about 5:20am and waited.  He came out at 5:30 but his co-worker had not come yet.  So we waited...and waited....and left.  Oops.  Later on we found out that he was running late and didn't think he could make it to my running buddy's home so he just went straight to the race.

We got to package pick up at about 6:30-40am.  There was not many people there but when we left there was probably 50-60 in line.  We got our shirts which are really cool.  At least I think so.  It was a Hawaiian theme.  Cool.

Then we went to where the starting line is.  The package pick up and starting line were about 0.25 away from each other.  I think it would be better if they did the package pick up right near the start but it worked out fine.  The start of the race was at Northville Downs, a harness racing track which is closed for the season(I think).  Anyway, we took a picture of us on the track.  The first 1/2 mile is on the track which is cool.  Ken from Eastside Stoney Creek actually took the picture.  He was out there volunteering for the race.  We also saw Ken at the end when we were leaving cleaning up things near the start.  Nice job Ken - The race would not be as successful without volunteers like yourself.
Horse race track!
After that, we went to the bathroom.  They had port-o-potties there but because I had been to the race last year, I knew there were regular bathrooms at the race track so we headed into there to use the regular bathroom.  The 10k started about 15 minutes before the 10 mile race so we stayed in the race track viewing area and watched the runners start around the track.  Good view.  I wish I had had my camera.  After that, we went to line up ourselves.

There was still runners from the 10k running out of the track and there were so many people around, they had to run around us 10 milers.  Oops.  Probably needed some marshals there to help keep the people out of the way from the 10k runners.  Granted, it was the slow runners and the walkers but still, they paid their money to race too and shouldn't have had to go around us like that.

Then it was our turn.  There was 739 10 mile runners lined up at the start.  We went around the track which was nice.  I started off a little slower than I normally do because, remember, I was supposed to be running this as a training run.  Right.  I just can't seem to do a training run when I'm at a race!

We headed out of the track, into the parking lot, and left down the street where our first hill started.  I personally feel that this is a really challenging course.  It's hilly.  Now I did tell some of you that I thought this was as hilly as the Brooksie Way.  Wrong.  It's not.  The hills are not as steep and also not as long but there are some good ones mixed in there.  The race takes us through the subdivisions of Northville.  There is some awesome homes in the area which I enjoy seeing and the neighbors come out to watch and cheer us on.  The crowd support is not great but I'll take anything that I can get to keep me going.

There was a girl at about mile 9 that was a volunteer that was also cheering us on.  She was the perfect person to put there.  It's right where we needed a pick me up and that gave it to me.  We then finished up by running through downtown Northville and over to Ford Field(not the Detroit Ford Field).  This took us into a park with a track around it where the finish line is and they had an announcer calling off names which, I think, is always a really nice touch.  It feels good to hear your name being called off at the end.

The volunteers were right there waiting to give you your medal - which are AWESOME by the way!  WAY better than last year's medal.  We also got a lei since it was Hawaiian theme!  Thank you volunteers!!!  Both T and I decided to wear our Bayshore Marathon shirts.
Sweet medal
After the race - cool lei and medal
From there, you go through a line to get water, snacks, food and a little expo.  I actually like the expo at the end.  It's nice because you get some freebies and some additional food from the vendors.  It's just a nice touch.  Because it was Hawaiian theme, they had three Hawaiian girls dancing on a stage with music.  Cool.  They also had pizza with ham and pineapple.  haha!  I'm not a big fan of pizza(especially at 9am) but my running buddy, T had some and said it was really good.  Panera was there so I got a bagel plus some water and a half banana.  Target was giving out all kinds of granola bars and fruit snacks so I got some for my kids.  There was also a company giving out rice krispy treats so I got some of these for my kids too.  I also grabbed a couple more bagels to bring home for my wife and kids.  I certainly did not walk away empty handed.  Haha!

Overall results -

Chip time of 1:20:15(8:02/minute pace)
Garmin time of 1:20:35(7:57/minute pace) - actual distance 10.13 miles; this time make sense because I forgot to turn off my Garmin at the end so chip and Garmin are what I expected.  They would have been identical had I not forgot to turn it off.
177th place overall out of 739 finishers
148th place for men out of 444 finishers
31st place for men 40-44 group out of 74 finishers - there were some fast people in my AG!

By the way, the winner finished in 50:57.  Same guy as last year.  Crazy fast!

Overall, I like really like this race.  It's well organized, has a few bands playing, lots of nice volunteers, a challenging course, a nice start and a great finish with an expo.  Not bad for a 10 mile race.

As an added bonus, I got to run Adam's The Boring Runner's virtual 5k at the same time.  I took this picture after the race.  If you take the first the first 3.1 miles, I ran his in about 24:38.  Slower than my last three miles.
Sweat your Thorns off Virtual 5k!
By the way, I did something incredible rare for me.  A negative split for the race!!!  Check out my splits:

The other thing that I did that I rarely do is have such consistency throughout the entire race.  Check out this pacing chart.  I don't think I could get much more consistent.  Plus I included the elevation change to show you the hilliness of the race.  I'm more happy that I could keep that kind of consistency with the hills thrown in there.
So that's what I did with my Saturday morning!

Did you race this weekend?  Do you enjoy racing as much as I do?

Have a great day and.....Keep Running!!!!!

Jun 25, 2011

Solstice Run 2011

Unofficial time of 1:20:35 for the Solstice Run 10 mile race on the Garmin.  Official results coming soon.  Felt pretty good!  More details and pictures to follow soon.

Have a great day and.....Keep Running!!!

Jun 24, 2011

Weight training...

Rest day today....ready for my 10 mile race on Saturday.  I'm still planning on just running it as a training run.


I don't know if I ever told anyone but I hate weight training.  Not dislike.  HATE.  Unfortunately I also know that it's good for me and helps me keep my weight in check so I do it twice a week.  Or at least I try to do it twice a week.  I'm kind of hoping some of you know more about the subject than I do.  I'm using a Bowflex.  I do prefer this over free weights.
I try to get in a little Pac-Man between reps - Kidding!

This is what I do when I workout with it:

Bench Press - 2 sets - 15 reps - 160 pounds
Narrow Pulldown - 2 sets - 15 reps - 160 pounds
Leg Extensions - 2 sets - 15 reps - 160 pounds
Crossover High Rear Delts - 2 sets - 15 reps - 120 pounds
Standing Hip Extension - 2 sets - 15 reps - 120 pounds
Low Back extension - 2 sets - 15 reps - 120 pounds
Tricep Pulldowns - 2 sets - 15 reps - 120 pounds
Biceps - 2 sets - 15 reps - 120 pounds
Abs - 2 sets - 25 reps - 180 pounds

This gives me an overall body workout and has certainly made a difference in my muscle.  Now I'm not looking to be all bulky.  You can see from my pictures that I'm not but I would not mind being a little bigger on my upper body.  The thing is I don't want to do more than two weights workouts a week.  Frankly, I already run 5 times a week(and am marathon training again) and I bike once a week so I really don't want to take the time for even more working out!  That's 8 workouts a week already.

If I really wanted to get bigger, I would do four workouts per week with less reps and more weight.  I'm sure the Bowflex pounds are not equal to the free weights pounds.  My guess is they are more like 75% of free weights.

Any input?

What do you do for weight lifting, if any?

Have a great day and.....Keep Running!!!!!!

Jun 23, 2011

The day it all started......

Five miles on the schedule for today.  Did my regular 5 mile route.  What better way to start the day than a nice brisk five mile run?


Today's the day.  The day that changed my life.  Oh, yes, it's my birthday today but that's not what I'm talking about.  It's the day(two years ago) I started changing my life and decided that I needed to live a healthier life.  Not only for my sake but for my kids.  Too often have I seen someone pass away at such an early age when they could have perhaps done something to stop/change it.  Really good people that will miss out on so many things in life.  For me, I decided I was not going to be part of that or at least the part I could control.

I did what everyone says they are going to do.  Eat better and workout.  Except for one thing.  I have stuck with it and have kept the weight off, continue to eat healthy and exercise regularly.

I want to thank each and everyone of you that follow this blog.  It's not only helped me keep track of what I do but putting it down in writing....sharing it with others....keeps me motivated to better myself each day.  I don't want to put something in writing and then not follow through on it.  It's not who I am.  So thank you, thank you, thank you for helping me change my life for the better.

Two years ago!
Yesterday at my Son's Piano Recital!
So today my adjusted age is two years old.

So how old do you feel?

Have a great day and....Keep Running!!!!!