tehuti: (Running Wolf)
I did a year-end wrap-up post of my races for 2010, and now I continue that tradition for 2011.

Big Fourth 5k, July 4, 2011: 32:43, 10:28/mile

Rock n' Roll Providence Half Marathon, Aug 7, 2011: 2:48:08, 12:46/mile

Greater Springfield Harriers Summer Sizzler 8k, Aug 17, 2011: 53:32, 10:57/mile

Greater Springfield Harriers Summer Sizzler 5k, Aug 24, 2011: 39:23, 12:43/mile

Run to the Rock Half Marathon, Sept 10, 2011: 2:52:41, 13:06/mile

Hartford Half Marathon, Oct 15, 2011: 2:41:05, 12:11/mile

BayState Rays of Hope 8k, Oct 23, 2011: 1:05:08, 12:26/mile

Hot Chocolate 5k Run, Dec 4, 2011: 35:19, 11:09/mile

This year, we missed the Tomato Trot because of Pi-Con, the AIDS Run because of Run to the Rock, And the Bridge of Flowers because of Rock n' Roll Providence. As the results show, in that last case especially, it had nothing to do with fitness level. Our timed runs this year were limited by available funds. When I finished school, my income went with it, so we cut back wherever we could. Hopefully, now that I am back to work, that will change for next year.

I'm going to start working on a general year-end wrap-up post, where I'll talk about these results in more detail. Some of my resolutions last year pertained to running, and although I didn't keep them, I'm still pleased with my times and accomplishments this year. I'll explain later, I promise. Just be patient, and you'll see what I mean. :-)
tehuti: (Running Wolf)
As I walked through the chute after finishing the half marathon Saturday, I turned to the Princess and remarked that, one year ago, I'd never have imagined completing that race. The fact that it was my third timed half marathon this year would have been complete lunacy to contemplate. But there I was, walking through the line to collect my third finisher's medal in as many months.

I often forget that I've only been running for slightly more than one year. Sixteen months, give or take a week. I know that my hiking experience gave me a good base to build on, but it still feels like I shouldn't be able to enter or complete the races I've done this year.

But enough rambling. This post was supposed to be about the Hartford Half Marathon. As I mentioned briefly on Facebook the other day, I am ridiculously pleased with how this race went. So let's get to it, shall we?

First, the technical stuff: 31.11 miles, 2:45:22 gun time, 2:41:05 chip time. Gun time means from the moment the starter's gun fired. Chip time starts the moment we crossed the start line. Aimee and I were near the back, so it took us a few minutes to actually get going.

Splits:

Miles Time

1 10:51.5
2 10:50.0
3 11:25.7
4 11:37.9
5 11:56.7
6 11:56.1
7 11:38.2
8 12:14.3
9 13:18.1
10 12:51.4
11 12:49.9
12 13:15.8
13 13:08.9

For the non-runners reading this, these splits are really good for runners like us. Like most racers, we started at our planned race pace (a bit faster, actually, but that's also normal) and lost speed as we got tired. The goal was to finish sub 2:45, which we achieved. Up until the last two miles, we were as much as seven minutes ahead of pace. We were so far ahead that, at about the eight mile mark, we took a potty break and still made our goal. Our average pace was 12:18 per mile, which is a really good time for us at this distance.

Physically, we both held up well. We're planning to go for a short run tomorrow, to stretch the muscles a bit. The first time I ran a half marathon, it took me a full week to recover. Aimee wasn't any better. So not only are we getting better at running this distance, we're also recovering faster. Another thing to be pleased about.

A few quick points before I post this and head to bed:

The weather was fantastic. A bit cool at the 8am start, but it warmed up nicely. So did we, which helped.

The rain the day before made for a muddy post-race party. Mud and Vibram Five Fingers don't mix well. Bushnell Park was all squishy! :-P

As we crossed the finish line together, Aimee and I rang the cowbells we snagged halfway through the race course. The crowd's cheering was awesome.

Sadly, they weren't cheering for us. The winner of the women's marathon happened to be crossing the finish at the same time we did. Completely stole our thunder. Sigh...

Didn't see as many toe shoes this year as we did last year. Not sure if that means anything, just an observation.

Did see one guy running the half while barefoot. I thought we were hardcore...

Michy and Ian found a nice little breakfast place on Main St. Turns out that the course ran right past it. Also turns out that she came out with the baby at just the right moment for us to run over, swap kisses and keep on going.

Going to the Town Line Diner for our family post-race meal is now officially a tradition, because I said so.

So are chocolate milkshakes.

Next year, we have to finish a lot faster. We crossed the line in 4736th place, out of 5156. The lines for everything were so long, we skipped a lot of stuff, including the free beer.

It's kinda nice being near the back of the pack, though. We all know we're slow, and encourage each other. It's a nice camaraderie, and I hope that we don't lose that if we get faster.

Micah's Racing Goals: Don't be last (check!), finish the race (check!), post a personal best (check!). Two out of three is a win. Three out of three is fantastic.

Was it really only last summer that I struggled to finish a 5k? Feels weird, looking back now.

Even weirder? When we ran the 5k race in Hartford last year, Aimee was four months pregnant. Where the hell does the time go?
tehuti: (Running Wolf)
Yesterday, Aimee and I ran our second timed half marathon. The Run to the Rock is a benefit run for the Plymouth Boys and Girls Club. They offer a 5k, 10k and half marathon. I already posted our run times to Facebook via Runkeeper, so if you want to see the nitty-gritty details, go check it there if you haven't already. My thoughts, broken into Good Stuff and Bad Stuff:

Good stuff:

Not last!

Almost a personal record despite a much harder course than the Providence Rock n' Roll Half Marathon.

Finished in under three hours, which was the theoretical course cut-off.

Body in much better physical condition after the race, both immediately and the next day.

Last five miles of the course were quite pretty.

Great weather. Sunny, warm but not too warm, and a nice breeze, especially near the water.

Pretty good volunteer support.

The last aid station with Gatorade let me fill one entire bottle of my fuel belt from their supply.

Tried the Power Bar runners goo. They were handing it out at one of the aid stations. It's more watery than Gu, but the flavor was yummy.

Bad stuff:

No pre-race speech or anything. Someone called for the racers attention, and a few seconds later a horn sounded.

The roads weren't closed, and we were so far behind the pack we lacked any protection from traffic.

Said traffic seemed very annoyed that we were there. More than one car zoomed around us at alarming speeds.

No sidewalks until the last two-ish miles to avoid said traffic.

Only saw one porta potty on the race route.

After race party was meh. Only one vendor. Food was also meh. Lots of bananas, though, which is always a good thing.

Aimee ran into some physical troubles near the end of the race. I was a bit worried she was going to have to stop with less than one mile to go. But we made it!

My computer chip in my bib didn't work right. I crossed the line with Aimee, but my chip said I came in a minute after her. No big deal, as I recorded it correctly myself.

All told, I think next year I'll skip this one and try the Hartford Marathon Foundation's race at Missquamicut Beach, in South County, Rhode Island. It's more expensive, but will definitely be a better experience overall.
tehuti: (Running Wolf)
I normally only do posts like this after some sort of event, usually a con of some kind. But I've been really busy lately, and to catch up, I'm breaking out my "quick thoughts" entry style.

Our little Raspberry has grown up into a Munchkin. Every time we call him that, I picture him with a Baby Club of Cuteness +3 and a Spiked Diaper Cover, kicking in a door and Looking For Trouble.

Seriously, he's growing up so fast!

Thank you to all of you that got that joke and laughed a little reading it.

I've been applying to jobs on a fairly regular basis for the last month and a half. At least two or three a week. Trying to find something in my field is going to be very difficult. Finding anything at all that pays me enough to make it worthwhile to be full time or a part time flexible enough to let me take care of the baby is going to be a challenge.

Still working on finding freelance writing work. I'm getting more targeted assignments from Yahoo, which is good. My other main source of writing income looks to be drying up. Not sure if this is temporary or not.

Got leads on a few new markets for writing. Nothing to report yet, other than I'm plugging away.

Did I mention that the baby is already four months old? He's not crawling yet, but he rolls around pretty good. And he LOVES to stand. With help, of course. It wouldn't surprise me if he's one of those kids that skips crawling and goes straight for walking.

My Bunker Hill paper was nominated for an award. I'll know whether or not I win in the middle of September. Fingers crossed!

I've been offered an interesting book review opportunity. Ever read one of those academic book reviews where the reviewer looks at two books on the same subject and compares and contrasts them? I'm doing that with two new books on the Battle of Bunker Hill. As soon as the books come in from the publisher, anyway.

Last week I ran an 8k (almost five miles) with the local running club. I ran that distance much faster than I thought, which was very happy making. And I wasn't last! But best of all, with about a quarter mile to go, I reached down for the last of my reserves and finished strong. But even bester than that, after I was done, I thought to myself, "I'm tired, but not as tired as when I ran the half marathon two weeks ago." And that's when it really hit me for the first time. "Holy shit! I really ran 13.1 miles!"

Today was a tough day with the Munchkin. He was not happy without mommy, threw up on me twice, and absolutely refused to do the one thing that would make him feel better; take a nap. I was supposed to go to a fiction writers group in Northampton this evening, but was completely unprepared and frazzled so I begged off.

The silver lining? I took out my fatherly frustrations on my Bikilas this evening. Ran a 5k in 33 flat. Best time this year. And afterward, I felt much better physically and emotionally. Remember this, Micah. Running is good for you in more than one way. Make time for it.

I am really looking forward to Pi-Con this weekend. Like, almost stupidly so.

We have a fridge! Ian got us a furniture dolly with stairclimbers. They are these little tank-tractor looking things that help you slide heavy things up stairs. And with it, we were able to get the new fridge upstairs and the old one out to the garage. Our new fridge is full of awesome. And food. This is a goodness.

Family-wise, we've been having a lot of high-level discussions about goals, desires and long range plans. This also makes me stupidly happy.

The Munchkin is finally starting to sleep in his crib. When we go to bed, he still ends up in the basinet on the bed with us, for Aimee's convenience. But he's using his crib, which means we all get some adult time sans baby most evenings.

I need to make time for fiction writing. I'm sitting on a bunch of ideas that are too good to just moulder away in my brain. I'm strongly considering doing NaNoWriMo this year, for the first time since the first time I did it, to force me to write fiction. All comments and opinions to either encourage me or stop me welcome.
tehuti: (Running Wolf)
This will be a double length post, for the last two weeks of marathon training. The weekend between them I was away at the Cape, came back sick, had my Master's written comp exam, and then went to Boston Pride. So I've been preoccupied.

Rather than breaking everything down by run (my RunKeeper posts on FB have more specific thoughts, check out my feed if you want to see them), I'm going to ruminate on the last two weeks as a whole. Physically, my body is happy to be back in running shape. I'm still stiff and sore, but not nearly as much as I was back in April when I gingerly got back in the saddle, or even just last month, in the lead up to the start of training.

Yesterday and today are a good example. I did 6.3 miles yesterday, which is (just barely) the farthest distance I've ever run. I was a bit sore last night, and a little stiff this morning (mostly in my calves and heels, which is normal for me), but overall, I felt like I could go out on a short run today if I really wanted to. And that is exactly the kind of shape I want to be in.

There is more evidence that I'm getting to where I need to be. The training program Aimee and I are doing varies a lot during the week, but in general, the total distance increases every week, and the long run gets one mile longer every seven days. This past week I was sick, so I only got one short run in. I struggled to finish just two miles, which was nowhere close to my short run mileage for the week. But even so, I did the long run without much trouble, and at a faster pace than my projected race pace. I hope this pattern continues. And if all of our runs could be like that one on the Cape, so much the better.

That run was about as perfect as it gets. Our splits were great, all around 12:00/mile. The weather was perfect; sunny, cool, with a nice breeze off the ocean. We should run through Dennisport every weekend! The best part was the finish. We were running out of road, and needed to make distance, so we ran down a boardwalk to the public beach near our hotel, and did the last quarter mile about ten feet from the ocean. Running through sand is tough, but it's a lot of fun, too.

This week, and every week hereafter, I will set a new personal record for my longest run in both time and distance. I'm looking forward to the challenge.
tehuti: (Running Wolf)
For those of you that aren't on my Facebook, for whatever reason, you may be unaware that I have signed up for my first half marathon. I'll be running in the Rock n' Roll Half Marathon in Providence on August 7, 2011. It was Aimee's idea, so of course she is running it as well.

For the next twelve weeks, I'm going to update my progress here, one post per week. Mostly, it's for my own memory. I want a way to track how I am feeling, in addition to how I am doing. For the nuts and bolts of the training, I'm using RunKeeper. It's an app and website, little different from the multitude out there for runners and fitness buffs. The reason I'm using this one, as opposed to any other, is simple. This one offers FourSquare badges, and I'm a sucker for those! If you are a runner or track your workouts somehow, and use RunKeeper, let me know and we'll link up there.

The second week schedule:

Monday: Rest
Tuesday: 2 mi
Wednesday: Rest
Thursday: 3 mi
Friday: CT or Rest
Saturday: 4 mi
Sunday: 20-30 min EZ run or cross-train

Like last week, none of the distances were difficult on paper, so I tried to challenge myself. And we lost track of the schedule, so we thought we had to do 2.5 miles on Tuesday. Ended up doing 2.68 miles, at a pace of 11:22 per mile. So ahead of race pace, and further than we were supposed to go.

The weather all week was fantastic for running. Warm, a bit humid (which I like), and sunny. So of course I went out and really struggled on Thursday's run, which I actually did Friday because I spent Thursday out in the Boston area at an informational interview at a museum (I should write about that...) called the Waterworks.

I went out in the heat of the day to test myself. We have no idea what kind of conditions we'll actually be running in on race day, so we're consciously trying to go out in as many different kinds of weather as possible. Friday was really hot (over 90 degrees), quite humid and almost no clouds. And to further my stupidity, I decided this would be a great day to do my first real hills. I finished, but I really struggled. On a positive note, I got some practice doing run/walk splits. But a 3.18 mile run at 12:15 pace overall isn't anything to be upset about. But damn, did this run kick my ass.

Saturday's run was pushed to Sunday, which meant I skipped two CT days. The plan allows for skipping them if you are not physically up to it, and truthfully I wasn't even if I had the time. My legs and feet are holding up well, but I had a lot of trouble with my left ankle the last three days. I really thought I was going to struggle on this week's long run.

Show's you what I know. 4.10 miles in 50:45 minutes, a pace of 12:23 per mile. So a bit ahead of race pace, farthest distance yet (since last year) and at the end, I really felt like I had at least another mile in me. Granted, we ran almost completely on flat ground, but still, I was surprised and pleased that it went so well. Running through the park is always fun, but it was particularly nice yesterday. Even though Aimee and I were smart, and waited to the end of the day, there were still lots of people in the park, enjoying family games and barbecue. Made for a hungry run! The most amusing sight was of the two Herbalife reps, wandering around from picnic area to picnic area, trying to sell people on their scheme business.

In Spanish.

Aimee and I joked with each other that we knew how to lose weight in just two months. Too bad neither of us speak Spanish!

To sum up, another good week. My left ankle is sore, legs a bit stiff, but manageable.

Week One Mileage: 7.67 miles.
Week Two Mileage: 9.98 miles.
Overall Mileage: 17.65 miles.

So far, so good!
tehuti: (Running Wolf)
For those of you that aren't on my Facebook, for whatever reason, you may be unaware that I have signed up for my first half marathon. I'll be running in the Rock n' Roll Half Marathon in Providence on August 7, 2011. It was Aimee's idea, so of course she is running it as well.

Last week was my first week of training for the half marathon. A half marathon is 13.1 miles, or slightly more than 20k. The longest distance I've ever run is 10k, which I did at the Bridge of Flowers Run last summer. Aimee and I ran it in slightly more than one hour. The training program we are using is a 12 week build up to race day.

For the next twelve weeks, I'm going to update my progress here. Mostly, it's for my own memory. I want a way to track how I am feeling, in addition to how I am doing. For the nuts and bolts of the training, I'm using RunKeeper. It's an app and website, little different from the multitude out there for runners and fitness buffs. The reason I'm using this one, as opposed to any other, is simple. This one offers FourSquare badges, and I'm a sucker for those! If you are a runner or track your workouts somehow, and use RunKeeper, let me know and we'll link up there.

The first week went quite well. Here was the schedule:

Monday: Rest
Tuesday: 2 mi
Wednesday: Rest
Thursday: 2.5 mi
Friday: Rest
Saturday: 3 mi
Sunday: 20-30 min EZ run or cross-train

None of the distances were particularly difficult, so I jumped them up a little. I did the Tuesday run on the treadmill, going for speed. 2 Miles, 19:22 minutes, 9:41 per mile. My normal pace is around 12:30 minutes, so running almost three minutes faster than that was a challenge. I was a bit sore the next day, but not so bad that I missed Thursday's run.

The weather broke that day, so I was able to get back outside. 2.56 miles, 28:20 minutes, 11:07 per mile. The training calls for you to run faster than race pace on the weekly "short runs", to build stamina. Aimee and I are planning to run the half marathon at about 12:30 per mile, so this pace qualified. Later on in the program, the weekly runs really will be shorter than the long weekend one.

Saturday I did 3.11 miles, 39:12 minutes, 12:37 per mile average. The long run is supposed to be at race pace, so your body gets used to how it feels. I have run considerably faster than that in the past, and anticipate getting back to those times on the "short runs" as the summer progresses. One of my New Year's resolutions was to break 30 minutes for a 5k, so I'll definitely be keeping that in mind as I train this summer.

Sunday was a cross training day. The idea is to do something other than run, or go on an easy run, at slower than race pace. I took it as an opportunity to get the bike out for the first time this year. 4.48 miles, 24:35 minutes, 5:29 average pace. At the three mile mark, my phone told me my pace and distance. It occurred to me that, at some of the 5k races I've been to, the winners RAN as fast as I was pedaling.

Physically, I held up pretty well. My legs are a bit sore, but that is to be expected. My feet are good so far, and my hamstrings and Achilles are a little tight. I'm concerned about how my legs will hold up, but so far so good. My lower back is also a little tweaked, but nothing I'm overly concerned about now.

Overall, good first week.
tehuti: (Running Wolf)
A long time ago, I used to enjoy running. For a lot of reasons, I stopped. Earlier this year, at the urging of my Princess, I took it up again. If someone had told me at the end of 2009 that I'd be entering timed races in 2010, I'd have laughed at them. I cannot even begin to guess what I'd have thought if that same someone told me I would be seriously contemplating running a half-marathon in 2011. More than one, actually.

But here I am, approaching the end of the year and I'm a runner again. For many years, I've done year-end wrap-up posts on my LJ. Starting this year, my running results are getting added to the list. I'm posting them a bit early for two reasons. First, to get me back in the habit of posting at all. Second, and more importantly, I am not planning to run another timed race this year, so this list is complete.

The format for the list is race name, location, date, place, time and pace. Click to see it! )

Not to bad for a guy that hasn't been doing this very long. All of the hiking I do helped a great deal. It suddenly occurred to me, as we were climbing up Mt. Mansfield, that if I could hike up a mountain, which is pretty strenuous, with minimal rests over three hours, then I could learn to run that long, too. So far, I can run a little over an hour non-stop, which is about half as long as I would need to in order to run a half-marathon. The biggest obstacle to me running a half next year is time. I simply may not have the time to devote to nothing but running, especially with comps and a child both on the way in a few months.

This would be a great time to write up some thoughts about becoming a runner again. As it happens, I already did. In my magazine writing class, our first assignment was to write a personal essay (approximately 2000 words) on any topic we wanted, so long as it was personal. I choose to write about running. This is the final draft of the essay, and I am planning to send it out. Some of you mentioned in my last post that you would be interested in reading samples of what I wrote this past semester. Here you go:
More stuff under here... )
tehuti: (Running Wolf)
Aimee and I are running in the Rays of Hope 8k next weekend in Springfield, MA. This is the first year they are offering a run here, and we are very excited to participate! We created a fundraising team, Team Transcending Boundaries. If you want to join us, the more the merrier! Help us raise money to fight breast cancer!

Go to our webpage for more information. Thanks, everyone!

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