Great news! A couple weeks ago I sent in an application for the Brooks Inspire Daily Program for 2009. Yesterday I got an email from the program manager, Steve Dekoker, saying my application had been accepted. They have varying levels of product sponsorship which will be announced in late December or early January. The higher the level the more free product you receive. I assume I will come in at the lowest level which means I won’t get a lot of free stuff, but I will get a 40% discount on my favorite running shoes and apparel. Actually I’m not yet very familiar with Brooks apparel as I don’t believe I currently have any Brooks apparel; though, I once had an awesome Brooks mesh running cap similar to the one shown above. It was very nice, white with the Mini Marathon logo embroidered on it. I loved that hat. Unfortunately, one day my wife’s “therapy” dog used it to floss his teeth. I’m all for good dental hygiene, but that was a little over the top.
More great news! I volunteered to be a pacer for the Indy Runners Mini Marathon Training Program even though I was not planning to actually run the Mini. The program takes place on Tuesday evenings starting January 24th at Hinkle Fieldhouse. I’ll be pacing the 8:30/mile group. I’m very excited about this opportunity to help others train for the Mini and to meet other experienced runners who will be pacing other groups. I think other runners can benefit from my experience, but ultimately I’m sure I will receive even greater blessing from this in return.
I said I was not planning to run the Mini this year, but I guess I became intoxicated on all the excitement of the Brooks ID Program and Indy Runners Mini Training Program and this morning I actually signed up for the Mini. Oh well I suppose there are worse ways to spend a Saturday morning in May.
Ok, I was going to take it easy over the next two weeks and rest up for the CIM December 7th. Plans change. We are going to New York for Thanksgiving and today at church some friends who are also going to NY for Thanksgiving talked me into running the RT Turkey Run in Irondequoit on the 29th. It’s only a 5 mile race so I guess it probably won’t ruin me for the marathon. Irondequoit is a suburb of Rochester. It’s a little more than an hour away from where I’ll be, but I have relatives in the area I can visit after the race. I think it will be a relatively flat course so if there isn’t deep snow or ice maybe I can set a PR for 5 miles. Have a happy Thanksgiving!
The last race of the 2008 DINO Trail series was held yesterday at Ft Harrison State Park. The trail is an out and back with a nice mix of hills and difficult trail conditions. The trail also has a creek crossing about four miles out, which was about a foot deep. I think it took me three or four steps to get across. Because it was raining the entire race my feet were soaking wet even before the first trip through the creek. I ran a pretty good race. I didn’t go out too fast, didn’t fade in the middle. I ran out in just under 34 minutes and back just a few seconds slower. My finish time of 1:07:49 was my best time ever for a DINO race. I like the out and back format because you can see everyone who is ahead of you and behind you. Ft Harrison is no longer military post, but I guess the National Guard still uses a firing range out there. On the return trip you could hear machine guns throwing lead down range. Maybe that’s what made me run fast.
I finished the series in 8th place over all and 1st in my age group.
Last winter I increased the amount of strength conditioning I was doing and I think that made me a better runner this year. This winter I intend to focus even more on conditioning and cross training. Today I did a crossfit WOD called “Twenty-one”.
20 push ups, 1 sit up
19 push ups, 2 sit ups
18 push ups, 3 sit ups
17 push ups, 4 sit ups
16 push ups, 5 sit ups
15 push ups, 6 sit ups
14 push ups, 7 sit ups
13 push ups, 8 sit ups
12 push ups, 9 sit ups
11 push ups, 10 sit ups
10 push ups, 11 sit ups
9 push ups, 12 sit ups
8 push ups, 13 sit ups
7 push ups, 14 sit ups
6 push ups, 15 sit ups
5 push ups, 16 sit ups
4 push ups, 17 sit ups
3 push ups, 18 sit ups
2 push ups, 19 sit ups
1 push up, 20 sit ups
You do this for time. A really fit person can do it in less than 20 minutes. It took me 38:09 and my arms feel like lead which doesn’t make typing very easy.
Ran the Outback Scramble today. First time I’ve ever run this race. It’s a trail run, but without the trail. They just use pink tape to mark a course through the woods. Up and down steep ravines, through creeks, over/under downed trees, through fields of tall goldenrod, just about anything goes. I don’t even know what goldenrod is, but those were some really tall weeds. They mark a new course every year. Some of the hills had ropes to help with the climb up. I wound up sliding down some hills on my butt. Along the course they distribute various hats. If you pick up a hat and are wearing it when you cross the finish line they deduct a minute from your time. I picked up a viking hat very early in the race and had to carry it the whole time until I approached the finish line. The course was somewhere around 4 miles. This event is all about raising money and food for Gleaners Food Bank. If you bring in canned goods you get $5 off your entry fee. The three entrants who bring in the most food get a head start. The three brought in 57, 39, and 21 pounds. I took in 15 pounds. I ran a pretty good race and managed to finish 10th place over all out of 316 and 2nd in my age group.
I really enjoyed this marathon. The weather was nearly perfect, the course was awesome. I don’t normally pay any attention to the sights and sounds along the course, but for some reason yesterday I did and I really liked what I saw over much of the course. The volunteers were great. I was pleasantly surprised by the numbers of vocal, supportive spectators who lined the course. It all added up to produce one awesome marathon. I think I’ll run this one again next year.
At the start I lined up about 10 yards back from the front runners. Then the 3:30 pace runner came in and lined up right behind me. I was hoping to finish in 3:30 or less so I was thinking I just need to stay ahead of this guy. I did stay ahead of him until around mile 19 when I had to stop at a port-a-potty. As I stepped out and started running there he was with 4 or 5 other runners. I managed to get a little ahead of him, but then he passed me. A little later he was all alone and I passed him, not because I was getting faster, but I think he was running out of steam. I was able to stay ahead of him for the rest of the race, but unfortunately I didn’t beat 3:30 finishing at 3:37:31. Not sure when he finished. I felt really good in the first half and probably ran it a little too fast. Around mile 8 I came along a couple fellow DINO runners and chatted for awhile. One wound up finishing in 3:15. According to my watch I ran the first half in about 1:41, but the race results have me at 1:39:15. I was still on 3:30 pace through mile 23, but then the wheels fell off. My legs got really tight and I couldn’t go fast anymore. I kept running though, I never stopped running. I thought I was taking enough endurolytes, but probably could have used some more. I probably should have taken the hammer gel I was carrying, but after mile 20 I was feeling a little nauseous. I mistakenly grabbed a Gatorade cup around mile 21 and nearly gagged on it. Luckily it was a small cup and was less than half full.
I’m a little disappointed, but I knocked 23 minutes off my marathon PR so I’m pretty happy about that. I’m running another marathon in December. This time I’ll try to hold back a little more in the first half and hopefully wind up with a better finish time.