Moonlight Miles 2019

Ever since the Crying fiasco (link here), I had been clawing my way back to running health.  Slowly trying to once again win back confidence from my internal heat controller which was now totally spooked since my first little training “mishap” back in 2014 (link here).  It took me several years to get my body over that heat related incident and now I was trying to do it again in less than 4 months.  The Bix 7 test (link here) proved conditioning was back for short runs (7 miles).  Being ready for a 30 miler back in July meant there was not a lot of stress to get through with the shorter miles – my training runs since getting back on my feet were rarely under 6 miles so extending it a bit more wasn’t that much of a stretch goal.  Now the IVS run was a better test and that turned out well (link here).  The final validation run before the big one was the Moonlight Miles race at the historic Oak Ridge Cemetery in my hometown of Springfield IL.

Moonlight Miles Half 2019 at Oak Ridge Cemetery, Springfield IL

I have a history with this particular race and it isn’t a good one on the health front.  With the exception of last year, I think I have managed to leave my guts at the finish line (link here) .. and one year at every exit between Springfield and Peoria.(link here).  Don’t read that wrong, last year I might have kept everything down, but there were some brief moments of concern that I fought through (link here).   If there were serious residuals from  the overheat at the Cry or any gaps in the armor from under-training, it would rear its ugly head in this race for sure.  This is the starting picture of someone concerned as to how this was going to play out over the next couple of hours. The good news is they heeded my warnings last year and go rid of those damn ankle timing devices.  I bitched here how it had managed to cut my ankle up last year – this year they finally dispensed with that archaic device and went with the sensors on the bib – hmmm, maybe they read my blog ha!

Moonlight Miles Half 2019 at Oak Ridge Cemetery, Springfield IL

Hit the jump to find out how the race went!

Continue reading Moonlight Miles 2019

IVS for the Test

Sitting here in the waiting area for Linda’s cardio rehab class watching recovering heart patients being put through the paces makes you feel thankful for your health.  I also have the opportunity to witness Linda getting better every week, a long way from a few months ago when I was terrified she would not be able to use the right side of her body.  Thank god we live in a country with access to the best healthcare in the world.  Pretty soon she will be crossing the finish line ahead of me so I better make the most of it when I have the chance.  One thing I did learn about myself through all this is I’d rather be on the road straining the tendons and sweating a tsunami than sitting here watching others work out.  At least I can recollect while I wait.

IVS Half Marathon Springdale Cemetery Peoria IL

If you read my previous post, you know I was able to brush off the dirt from the Cry Me fiasco (link here) and get the legs moving again.  That was a crucial test to determine just how far I had fallen (metaphorically this time).  Although a slight mid-race recovery was needed, the body held strong and the damage might be less than feared.  Naturally, I came home that weekend and immediately signed up for another attempt at the 50K – this time in the cooler temps of October.  That left a little over 2 months to address some lingering issues (hip was apparently damaged more than initially thought due to the fall and there were some nagging pains in other places) and rebuild the stamina lost due to the reduced training miles (damn meddling doctors ha).  The first good test would be the half marathon at the Springdale Cemetery in early September.   That hilly course would be a good litmus for the chance I had at the 50k.

Hit the jump to see if this race ended up being a confidence builder or not.

Continue reading IVS for the Test

For the Medal of Course

Howdy folks.  It has been a while since I’ve posted a race recap.  In fact, somehow I’ve managed to get FOUR races behind thanks to a late Fall surge that included a major check in my life list.  I will keep with tradition and do the recaps in chronological order… but trust me, I really really really want to get to that big one (hint, redemption).  So, first up is the race that is closest to my heart.

Bix 7 2019

Yep, it was another running of the Bix 7 in Davenport, IA.  Your chance to run with the best which for those not familiar with running lingo means you get to stand at the starting line with elite runners from around the globe – many of which have excelled during the Olympics, won signature races like the Boston or New York Marathon or likely go on to dominate the upcoming racing circuit.  These specially invited participants come from across the States, Ethiopia, Africa and other runner hotspots (who now pretty much live and train in the US) in hopes of winning a car – although they always take the money equivalent).  Here is a picture of three of them!

Bix 7 2019

Hit the jump to read a few details about this incredible racing event.

Continue reading For the Medal of Course

Halloween Project 2018: Nightwings

Thought I would finally get around to showing off a Halloween project that was built for the 2018 Haunted Halloween Trail of Tears (link here).  Those that checked out the trail walkthrough probably noticed a couple of interesting adds that I didn’t really talk much about.   Was looking at my post queue and noticed I STILL had not posted on that project over a year later.  This must be remedied immediately (as in before this year’s Halloween hits the history books).  So without further delay I bring you Project Nightwings.

NightWings Halloween Decoration 2018

The night shots of the Nightwings didn’t come out the best because.. well, it was dark.  Last year there was close to zero ambient light on the trail making it a bit difficult on the final camera round.  Now, on the other hand, definitely upped the spook factor on the trail!  If you look closely you will see a giant pair of wings adorning the back of the gargoyle.  Now, making one pair of wings is fun enough, however, TWO wings pretty much puts this guy on cloud nine. The second pair is even harder to make out as the black wings blended into the darkness – unlike the zombie silhouette that looked awesome after an upgrade was made to the backing board that reflected the light better)

Nightwings Halloween Decoration 2018

Hit jump to see how these new props for 2018 came to be!

Continue reading Halloween Project 2018: Nightwings

A PR for Failure

If there was one thing that went well this month it was my ability to make my blogging quota for the month.  To my own amazement with all the events and issues we have had to deal with this month I was able to not only get the self-imposed minimum of 6 posts out, but opted to go ahead and get this bonus entry out of the way.  Out of the way in this context means never to be spoken of again!  Like most people, I’ve had my fill of misfortunes and failures.  Some of those were due to my own making, others due to the actions of others and there are those things we can chalk up to things out of our control – like say, I don’t know, maybe the weather.   A pretty deep seeded fault of mine is not doing well with failure regardless of the circumstances, but especially if it is my fault which brings us to today’s “never to be mentioned again” race recap bonus.

Cry Me a River 50K 2019

Last year I signed up for my first 50K race ever.  I had fallen in love with trail running for its welcome departure from the body pounding pavement along with the challenge of taking on difficult terrain.  Having totally exhausted myself running the half marathon at the Cry Me a River event (link here), figured it was only natural to more than double the distance and do it all again.  Linda wasn’t too happy about that decision knowing of my difficulties after my full marathon a few years earlier.  No worries, a year to train I should be fine.  Unfortunately, I was not expecting the tremendous amount of rain we had this spring that limited my time on the trails and more importantly cost me valuable heat conditioning.  Who would have thought we would have been enjoying mostly perfect running weather up through May.  Come the day of the race, the weather gods decided we had enough of being spoiled and put the burners on high.

Hit the jump if you really want to know how this all played out – the title should limit your expectations.

Continue reading A PR for Failure

Bathboat Classic

Greetings everyone!  Just sitting here outside my RV enjoying the sounds of joyful birds while enjoying a beautiful purple and pink sunset.  Of course, don’t let that fool you, It may be beautiful on the outside, but inside my body is undergoing some serious stress as we are camping at the starting line of tomorrow’s 50K.  Hard to say if I am even close to being ready for this, but if not, I only have myself to blame (shhhh, don’t tell Linda, I like to use her as my excuse … takes the edge off of failure ha!).  In an effort to quell the rising concern, thought I’d make a quick post from a previous race.

Peoria Steamboat Classic 15K June 2019

A couple of weeks ago they held the annual running of the Steamboat Classic in the Peoria area.  Basically a local race that just happens to be on the same training course my friends and I use throughout the year.  Well, for at least the difficult part, we do not bother with those wussy 2 mile flats into and then out of the monster hills – those are for those 4 milers that are not brave enough to head up into the hills for the full 15K

Peoria Steamboat Classic 15K June 2019

Hit the jump to read more about how the race went!

Continue reading Bathboat Classic

The Least Suckiest

Happy July 4th to my fellow countrymen and women especially to those who have or currently serving  in the military which brought and sustains our freedom!

Somehow my next event clock got into the steroids as I was sure there was at least 2 or 3 months left before my next race and next think I know it is a mere two days away.  With the final training run in the books as of last night, at this point it’s all about getting some rest, doing a few more healing treatments on the tweaked ankle mentioned previously and then either put up or put the tail between the legs and admit defeat.  The good news is the ankle felt strong in the quick 6 mile test last night – forward direction seems to be recovered, just need to make sure I make the foot plants solid as the outer stabilizers are still a bit tender.  As long as I keep it warmed up during the race it should be fine and expectations are the rest of the body will be so battered I won’t even feel it.

However something will likely be sticking in the back of my mind and it all has to do with this.

Blue Chevy Classic Half Marathon Trail Run, May 18th, 2019

Yep, for the second year in a row, I took on the Blue Chevy Trail Classic back in May.  You can read all about my maiden run at this trail race on a previous post (link here).  If I remember correctly, that was my first official trail race.  Since that time I’ve added a number of others and have clearly grown to love this new venue.  It is definitely harder than the traditional road miles, but then again challenge is good for the soul (and my doctor’s and chiro’s pocketbooks).  With the extra experience from the other trail races and the luxury of having done several training runs on the same course since, there was a sense of more confidence than when I toed the line the first time.  Besides, this time the race coordinators stated there would be finisher medals this year which took the pressure off of having to place to get anything to show for the effort.

Blue Chevy Classic Half Marathon Trail Run, May 18th, 2019

Riiiiiiiigggggghhhhhht!   Turns out there was plenty to worry about that race day.

Hit the jump to read a bit more detail on how the race went.

Continue reading The Least Suckiest

The Illini Half – 3 Makes 1

Evident by the fact this post has been published, I can officially say I once again survived Illinois’ Toughest 15K race which was held this morning in an absolute downpour.  I’ll save the details on today’s adventure for a future post because I need to get to the race queue before I get too far behind.  As a follow up to yesterday’s post on the Illini Marathon 5K race, tonight’s post brings us the main event.

Illini Marathon I-Challenge Half - Half Marathon April 2019

The morning after the 5K is the official Marathon, Half Marathon and 10K events.  Once again opted for the Half Marathon this year as there is already a big-ass race planned for July – no need to go crazy on this one.  True to course for this weekend, there were more early forecasts for cold, rain, wind … yep, the usual for late April in the Midwest. In a stroke of luck the rain moved through during the night and the rest pushed off until later that day leaving a cool but very accommodating climate for a long race.

Illini Marathon I-Challenge Half - Half Marathon April 2019

Hit the jump to read details on the day.

Continue reading The Illini Half – 3 Makes 1

Oh, That’s Why It has Cross in the Name

Another race is upon me – tomorrow to be exact.  As mentioned in the previous racing post, I hate to go past 4 races before getting the recollections out.  You never know what might happen during a race and I’d hate to have you miss out on recollections thanks to me being in the hospital ha!  After the Allerton race (link here).  Next up was the standard Illini Marathon race.  Once again, I was signed up for the I-Challenge consisting of a 5K on Friday followed by the Half Marathon the following morning.

Illini Marathon I-Challenge Half 5K Race April 2019

Since transitioning to Trail running, my enthusiasm for pounding out miles on the road has dwindled.  So many years of doing the same thing and now completely enjoying the new challenges of the trails dampened my enthusiasm for this race.  The good news is I already had a double race of the same distance under my belt so the body was physically prepared.  The mental part was the struggle for once again it looked to be another end of April crappy weather day.

Illini Marathon I-Challenge Half 5K Race April 2019

Hit the jump to read about how the race went!

Continue reading Oh, That’s Why It has Cross in the Name