Sunday, October 31, 2010

Day 1238 -- Jogger's Progress

Time53 days, 12 hrs, 10 min
10 days, 17 hrs, 9 mins

As seems to be the usual, except for the marathon, it was a pretty easy month. Even easier than usual, I guess, since the last couple of weeks have been so pathetic. Still, any month in which one ran a marathon can't be considered a total loss.

It wasn't as bad as it might have been, either. I drug myself out of bed this morning, put on my polka-dot tights and my Team Pikermi t-shirt for inspiration, and ran 13 miles. I'd made slightly less than that on my three runs earlier this week. It felt OK, although I've been sore all day. It felt like maybe I'm going to get back into the swing of things.

Happy Halloween, everyone!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Days 1235, 1236, and 1237 -- We now return you to your regularly scheduled Jogger

Where have I been? Running a little, but blogging not. My motivation is lacking.

I had planned to get up on Sunday for a long run, but I didn't. Monday has been a day off, and I took it. I did manage to get out of bed and run in the rain on Tuesday. It was a good run, really, if a bit miserable. I also ran Wednesday, but it was no fun. I didn't feel like a guy who could run a marathon. I felt like a guy who had never run before. Thursday threatened snow, so I planned a day off and took it. Then Friday, I again planned to run, but didn't. This morning, I managed to get out again, but only by promising myself no more than three miles.

Part of my motivation problem is the various hassles in my life. The oldest and newest Little Jogger is acting out a little. It's the same thing this time every year. The school year started off OK, but she's starting to lose energy, and the work is getting a bit harder, and her grades are slipping. So we take away some privileges, and she gets mad, and it's just a blow-up. We also have hassle at work, with a small group of people sniping and arguing, and making the atmosphere uncomfortable in the whole department. Also, after a couple of years of politics at church, as ugly as only church politics can be, our pastors are leaving for greener pastures. So, hassles at home, hassles at work, hassles at doesn't leave me many places to relax.

I'll try to get back into the habit of running, and also into the habit of blogging. Stay tuned.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Day 1234 -- Muddy Monster

Today was the Muddy Monster Cross Country run in Cedar Rapids. Cedar Rapids is a long way to go for a 5k run. Basically, we drove four hours and I ran 30 minutes. But I went because I had company. I went with my friend Mandy, her two daughters, and her mother-in-law. One of the daughters ran/walked it, and Mandy walked the whole thing. So I was the top finisher from Joggerville!

It was fun. It had rained overnight, so we got some good mud for the Muddy Monster, but there was no rain for the race. The race was well organized. There were lots of volunteers, and the race announcer was fun.

There was a costume contest, with a lot of original costumes. The winner was a giant Lego man. My polka-dot tights barely got any notice at all.

My time was OK. I ran just under 30 minutes. Considering that it was a muddy and uneven path, that's not bad. I definitely had a kick at the end. I finished 7th in my age group. Out of 7. I got smoked by a 70-year-old man. Did I mention that I beat an 11-year-old kid and a walker to take the the title of First Joggerville finisher?

Friday, October 22, 2010

Day 1233 -- Westville Center

Day 1233 was yesterday. I ran an easy 5 miles. It felt pretty good. That was my third day in a row, the first such streak know. So I took today off.

This photo of the Babbling Brook RV Park, in Westville Center, comes courtesy of Passport America. They open the second weekend in May, and close....Sepetember 30. Damn. They're closed. I better get out of here, before they arrest me for trespassing.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Days 1231 and 1232 -- Bombay.

I'm afraid that you'll just have to imagine me running down the road in front of this property in Bombay, NY. Blogger has temporarily disabled image uploads, because of some maintenance.

Five miles yesterday, and three today. Two beautiful days for running. And I'm planning to run again tomorrow.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Day 1230 -- Helena

I can't recommend doing a Google Image search for Helena, New York. Most of the photos are of people named Helena who are from (or in) New York. Helena Christensen seems to be very popular. Fortunately, snuck in a photo of this Canadian National Railway train.

Looks like it's still cold in upstate New York.

I ran ten miles this morning. This was my longest run since the marathon. It felt really good, although I did slow down in the second five. We continue to have terrific weather for running. Today is the Des Moines marathon. I hope that they are having great weather like this down there.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Day 1229 -- Rooseveltown

I'd better watch my step. Looks like a slippery day in Rooseveltown. Of course, this wasn't today. It was March 3 of this year when Ronna stopped into the Rooseveltown General Store.

As you can guess, I didn't make three days in a row. I slept in yesterday, and then again today. But today is our one-day fall break, so this morning I still got in a quick 5K before starting my day. It's proving to be hard to get back into a routine. We'll see what happens tomorrow.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Day 1228 -- More Massena

No photo today. I'm at work. I'm giving an evening exam. Out of 50 students, 15 are still taking it at 7:15 in the evening. They started at various times. I think the last one didn't start until about ten minutes ago, so I'll be here a while, yet.

I did run this morning. I did an easy 5. That was actually the first time this month that I've run on back-to-back days. There's no particular reason for that. Of course, I didn't run close to the marathon, and since the marathon, I've been taking it pretty easy. But today I felt fine. Depending on when I get to bed, I may even run for a third day in a row tomorrow.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Day 1227 -- Massena

Not much time tonight. Just enough to upload this picture of Main Street Massena from, to confess that I did run this morning, and to wish you all a good night.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Day 1226 -- Louisville

It was a fine morning for a run. Mid fifties, clear and quiet. I ran an easy 7.5 miles. I really felt good. I could easily have done more. Possibly not a full marathon, but more than I did.

This water tower, in Louisville, was constructed by Danko Construction.

Saturday, October 09, 2010

Day 1225 -- Waddington

Interested in hunting and fishing in northern New York? May I recommend The St. Lawrence Experience in Waddington? Hunting and fishing is their passion.

Day 1225 was actually yesterday. I got up and ran 5.3. I started out feeling really good. Just like any run. After about 3 miles, my legs began to remind me that they had already had a long week. I slowed down a bit, but still finished the run. I then stayed out late, seeing a dramatic reading of "The Laramie Project: 10 Years Later" at the University. So I slept in this morning.

Thursday, October 07, 2010


Action Sports International has posted the Lakefront Marathon photos, and I went ahead and bought some.

This is a pretty good shot, showing my race number, and also my American Cancer Society short. Notice my left hand. I'm counting comments about my tights. The hand shows eight. I kept track of the tens digit in my head, so that could be 8 or 28 or 98. Judging by how much I'm smiling, I'm guessing it's still early in the race.

Here's a better shot of my tights. Apparently, I saw this photographer. I don't know why the "thumbs up" was my gesture of choice for this race, but it was. I understand that's obscene in some South American countries. If you're from there, sorry about that.

At the end of the race, without really planning it, I jumped on the finish line. I kind of like the way this photo came out. Notice I'm still counting. My left hand shows 3. The total was 123.

So what's next? I had planned to run Madison in the spring, to finish what I started last May. But now I'm not so sure. I had a great run last Sunday. Perhaps it is time to take a break.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Day 1224 -- Back in the U.S.

Actually, I ran back into the U.S. on Sunday, about halfway through the marathon. But I didn't post any journey pic on Sunday, so here it is. The photo is from New York State: Back Roads and Byways, a New York State Travel Page by Stephen-KarenConn. No idea whether the sign is anywhere near where I just crossed into the state.

I ran a very gentle 5K this morning. It felt OK. I loosened up a little after a mile or so, but never really got loose. But it was nice to get back out on the road. With no particular pressure to train for anything at this point, I might take tomorrow off again.

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Day 1223 -- Race Report: Lakefront Marathon

The Lakefront Marathon is a point-to-point marathon. They take us 26 miles up the lake shore, to the town of Grafton, and we have to run to downtown Milwaukee. This is my first ever true point-to-point. The Fox Cities Marathon has a short distance between the start and the finish, but the shuttle bus ride is only a few minutes. There's nothing quite like taking a half-hour bus ride and realizing that you have to run back to the start.

I got to Grafton just before 7:00, and the race started at 8:00. They opened up Grafton High School for us to wait in, so I did the obvious. I pulled off my sweatshirt, folded it up for a pillow, and lay down for a half an hour. The alternative was to pace, and with 26 miles on the schedule, I thought I'd better stay off my feet.

For the last half hour before the start, I milled around a little, waited in line for the porta-potty, and chatted with a few other runners. At just about 8:00 exactly, the gun sounded, and we were off.

It was pretty good weather. Cool the whole way, and mostly sunny, although there were a few very brief misty showers. I wore my Running Funky tights, which was a good thing. Not for the warmth, in particular, but for the attention. It occurred to me early on to count the number of people who commented on them, which gave me something to do besides fret about the miles yet to go. I counted 123 comments, an average of almost five a mile.

I started out too fast, of course. I made myself a deal. I had planned to walk through the aid stations, and for a while, I made myself walk until the 4:45 pace group caught up with me. I figure that would mean that I got plenty of walking early, and I did. But at each aid station, the wait for them to catch up was shorter, until somewhere between mile 14 and mile 15, when they passed me on the run. I waved them goodbye, and never saw them again.

It was actually sort of a relief. From about mile 10, I'd been pushing myself to keep ahead of them, and after they passed, I let go of my Ultimate Goal of a marathon PR, and held on to my Challenge Goal of walking only at aid stations. I'd say that I made it. It's true that for the last four of five aid stations, I stretched that walk out quite a bit, to maybe as much as a quarter mile. I thought maybe I could skip the last two aid stations, at 24.2 and 25.2 miles. I skipped the penultimate one, but that came back to bite me, so I actually started my walk a little in advance of the last one.

But really, I didn't have any long stretches of hopeless walking, and I actually ran in the last mile. I'm happy with my performance. Although it was the slowest of my four complete marathons, I would judge it to be my strongest finish.

My overall time was 5:03:44. I was 1691st, out of about 1903 finishers. I was 1018th male, out of 1105. In my age group, I was 148th. Out of 152. Pity those four old guys who couldn't even beat me. I had told Grandma earlier that I was probably the oldest guy in my age group, thinking that it was 41 to 45. But in fact, it was 45 to 49, so a lot of those 147 guys who beat me were even older than I am.

Anyway, I'm happy. I will now proceed to take a few days off, and then do some running just for the sake of running. I'm still serious about running Madison again next year, to prove I can do it. But I don't need to worry about that for a little while. I'm going to enjoy some time where I'm not training for a blessed thing.

Wish me luck

Well, here we go.

I slept OK last night, in spite of some ruckus in the hallway. At about 3:00, some kids got loud enough to get me all the way to consciousness. I lay there for a little while trying out various strategies. I had just decided to go out and ask them for their room numbers, so that I could make noise outside their doors in a few hours, when I was awake and they were trying to sleep. At that point, I drifted off.

It's still almost three hours to the gun. I need to drive to the finish line, which will take about five minutes, and get a shuttle to the start, which will probably take a half an hour. And the rest, I'll just be fretting. Maybe I'll knock on some random doors.

Saturday, October 02, 2010

Tomorrow's the Day

The weather looks great. I'm rested. I'm ready. This is it.

I got to Milwaukee about 3:30. I checked into the hotel, then found the expo. It was just about what I'm used to. I couldn't find the American Cancer Society booth, and then when I found it, there was a note saying they had already gone to the pasta dinner. I met them there, eventually. Oddly, the volunteers didn't seem to know where to find the pasta dinner, but eventually I found it. They recognized the DetermiNation runners, which was nice. It is not too late to donate, if you want.

I'm going to try to do some grading, and go to bed. I'll check in again in the morning.

Friday, October 01, 2010

No run today

Well, it looks like the the first run of October will be the marathon. The schedule has an easy four, and I was going to run it, but I just couldn't get up. And of course, I'm not going to make it up tomorrow.