13 for 13

Now this is a refreshing change – how about a post about an event on THE Day the event took place! I know, I know, crazy talk (or maybe that should be ‘type’). To be honest, it is more out of convenience than a break with tradition. Like last month, September is one big pile of to-dos as we get ready for our annual Halloween party.  Each morning I get up and look at my list and get depressed, but each evening I try to get a few more items scratched off the list. My brother is also providing a huge amount of help as he has been working on some prop mechanics for me (that would be foreshadowing for the post part posts).

So today was the annual running of the IVS Half Marathon or as I like to refer to it as – my home course event.

IVS Half Marathon 2016

This race is held in the hills of Springdale Cemetery.  If you recall, that is my weekend training ground.  My friends (Sung and Ryan) and I climb those hills about every Sunday morning rain, sleet, snow or shine.  We probably know every pebble on that course by now.  Unfortunately, Ryan and Sung were not able to run with me today so it was a pretty lonely run.  This year it seemed like my lucky rabbit’s foot (symbolism only, I’d hate to think whacking off a cute and cuddly rabbit’s foot would produce anything good karma wise.) was replaced by black cats and ladders.  Normally I take it a little easy before a big race, but this year I had to clear trails, mow, weed, chainsaw and yesterday stain and varnish all the basement window trim.  Somehow during all of this I managed to tweak my back and for some strange reason I bruised the ball of my big toe yesterday afternoon – SUCKAGE.  I should have known something would go wrong when my race bib ended up being 13.

IVS Half Marathon 2016

Speaking of the race bib, this year’s was absolutely ridiculous.  They finally got rid of the foot chip – FINALLY, having to stand while someone tries to take those off your shoe after a tiring race is torture.  Unfortunately, rather than replace it with the more common single strip sensors on the back of the bib, they chose to use this god-awful Active-IPCO chip.  Not only is that thing huge, but it is stiff and heavy.  I can’t tell if it was to accommodate the larger sensor or they just decided to go with an obnoxious sized bib but that didn’t help things.  Look at the picture above and imagine that thing hanging across your stomach.  I heard other people complaining about it as well.   I also signed up late which means the cost of this race was out of alignment with the race amenities – which are really weak.  They have a pot luck which is okay, but this year, no door prizes, only gave out trophies to the first two in each age group (more on that later), your packet consists of a bib, a page with the course map on it and a hoodie (note, the hoodie is the best part of the race).  This year, the timers showed up just before the race and I am still baffled on how they got the start time – pretty sure they used race gun for it and assumed we all crossed the line at that point which is incorrect because I always start in the back of this race so I can entertain myself by picking people off.

Hit the jump to see how the race turned out

Continue reading 13 for 13

Throwing for a Loop

Guess I’ve waited long enough to get this post out.  Time to close this month out on the blog quota and might as well get this one over with.  At the beginning of this month I participated in the annual running of Springdale Cemetery.  Think this might be my fourth running of this grueling half and I knew this one was going to be tougher than usual before the starting gun ever went off.  If you recall this was the first long race since the heat stroke incident.  I was back up to 12 miles a couple of times in the weeks leading up to the race, but none of those did I really feel good about.
IVS Half Marathon 2014

Either the splits were way off or the body would panic at the 7 or 8 mile mark and just drench my entire body with sweat almost instantly – likely overreacting to internal temps.  The doctors informed me that my body would be impacted by the incident and I’d even be more susceptible to heat issues in the future.  All things considered, I had the training miles in so there was some confidence I could finish buuuuuuut…..

IVS Half Marathon 2014

The second to last week before the race I caught the Peoria Plague.  Somewhere around 12 days before the race I lost my voice.  A few days later came down with a sore throat and thing I started feeling awful.  Still tried to get some of the taper runs in but skipped a few and cut the others down in hopes of preventing it from sinking too far in.  No luck, 3 days before the race I was dead on sick.  In a last ditch effort I stayed down all day Friday and Saturday in hopes of maximizing whatever energy I had for the race Sunday.  The morning was at hand, went through all the pre-race prep activities and even made a point to grab the shirt my brother had made for me.  In recognition of my incident and  my distaste for Globull Warming, he got me this!

IVS Half Marathon 2014

In case you can’t read it, it says “Victim of Global Warming” – the front has a two people carrying a person on a gurney – LOVE IT!  By start time I was feeling okay. The race packet indicated they changed the course this year and based on my calcs there was not enough water stops and the ones they had were spaced further than I wanted.  One of the changes I had made since the incident was to take a lot more water and more frequently.  To compensate for that I decided to carry my own water with me.

… and the traditional start picture – even not feeling 100% doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy at least the start – obviously the lady to my left did not approve of my carefree attitude hehehe.  Oh, and race skirts need to go just for the record.

IVS Half Marathon 2014

Hit the jump to see how this one turns out (hint .. not good)

Continue reading Throwing for a Loop

Only a HALF but it took a WHOLE Lot Out

There are races where everything works out perfect

There are races where you have to dig down deep to get the desired results

There are races where you start second guessing yourself but in the end turn out to be unwarranted

… and then there are races where you have some concerns and they turn out to be all that and then some.

Today’s race  falls into the latter category.  This morning IVS held their Half Marathon in Springdale Cemetery.  This was my third running of this particular race but unlike the last two I was a little worried for a number of reasons.  First off, the training had not been going to my liking.  This was the first year I did not get a full 13 miler in before race day.  I made it up to 12 twice over the last month, but that left myself with a mile of uncharted territory.  Add in the trip to Vegas in the midst of my ramp up wasn’t ideal (although I did get in an 8 and a 6 in the dry heat).  Probably more concerning was dealing with some major problems with my calves as a result of the new running mechanics.  Turns out I migrated to the new form quicker than normally seen which left my calves unable to handle the stress of the new style beyond the 6 to 7 mile mark.    I thought I had those problems mitigated with a  battery of deep tissue massages and a few chiro visits.  What I wasn’t expecting when I woke up this morning ended up being the one element I didn’t want.

A quick rain last night and the rising temps left a very muggy morning.  Our porch thermometer showed high 70’s and the air was already thick yet I was 1.5 hrs from start time.  Not what I wanted on a day I was going to be battling all the other issues to get through 13 miles in the hills.  I can’t control the weather so the best thing to do is suck it up and do my best.  As always, I was blessed with my own personal photographer – thanks to Linda for giving up her dog show day to take care of me – and I was definitely glad she did!

The traditional pre-race shot

You know I wasn’t going to pass up the opportunity this statue left me with….

Heheheheh – I crack myself up.  Humor is always the best way to deal with stress.

Hit the jump to find out how this race went .. hint.. not well

Continue reading Only a HALF but it took a WHOLE Lot Out

A Struggle to a PR

Every have one those moments when have to do something, but you know you are going to get hurt in some manner while doing it? – you just don’t know the when or the how.. but it’s definitely going to happen. I have some speed recall slots from a few of these times in the past (my Black Belt tests and a few races where I made it to the starting line knowing my hamstring was not in a good place come to mind). Turns out I had a similar moment about a month back. Now normally I will just accept it and initiate the healing as soon as possible, but this time there was more at stake in the coming weeks. So there I stood staring at a flatbed of very heavy items that had to be offloaded for Project Auunold. Too heavy for Linda (well, she wasn’t going to go anywhere near it even if she could thanks to a past incident) and the delivery team didn’t send enough people. With an internal sigh I went to work and 30 minutes later I was trying my best to stand up straight. Not a big issue in context of that particular day, but a huge issue considering the IVS Half Marathon was a mere two weeks away. MAJOR SUCKAGE. With only a week to go before taper, the training runs were in full ramp, but luckily I had capped a 13 mile run the previous day so the endurance was already locked in. With the help of my chiro (if you just smirked, you probably are not a runner) and a tremendous amount of care and feeding, the back finally settled down a week later – I had to cut down the mileage, but I was still determined to get some miles in (don’t think the chiro was too happy with that).  9 Miles on that Sunday brought my confidence back up … but that lasted only 4 hours until I jammed my hip hitting a bad dip while mowing which pushing it totally out of whack – a test run the next day confirmed the damage – like running on Jello legs. CRAP. More stretches, more chiro, more heat, more ice and definitely more electrodes. Turns out the left leg was jammed up two inches shorter than the right. With the taper, the runs were only around 5-7 miles so that provided some relief. Literally two days before the race, the hips were finally snapped back into its proper alignment.

… and what does that mean?

That’s right, I added another half marathon finisher medal to my collection. As with last year (link here), this was at the the IVS Half Marathon in the hilly Springdale Cemetery.  I’m pretty much addicted to this race now and anyone who trains on hills would love it as well.  One thing is for certain, you will feel like you EARN that finisher medal.

Hit the jump to learn more than you probably want to know about the race!

Continue reading A Struggle to a PR

Thirteen.One on the 10 Year Anniversary of 9/11

Greetings everyone.  It seems out of place to make a post about a personal event on this day of remembrance.  Therefore, let’s take a moment to send our thoughts and prayers to the victims of that fateful day 10 years ago.  I refuse to give the perpetrators the satisfaction of their actions and instead of focusing on the fear and uncertainty of that day (as every local newspaper and program I’ve come across today) I remember it as a day America came together.  There were no petty squabbles between neighbors, no politicians slandering one another in hopes of getting an extra vote and absolutely no uncertainty regarding the love for the best country in the world.  We were bound by a common cause and mad as hell.  To those that experienced a tragic loss I express my deepest sympathy.  To the heroes of that day and those who took up the fight I forever owe my gratitude with special appreciation to Seal Team 6 who demonstrated the inevitable outcome when mess with the Red, White and Blue.

As alluded to, this day also marked a big event on a personal front.  After 3 years of hard work and countless setbacks I had an opportunity to put another check on my Life List.  Some of you may know and some of you may not, but I have had a goal to run a half marathon for some time now.  With the accomplishment of the 15K under the belt (link) the next evolution of the challenge was the daunting half.  It doesn’t seem like much considering it is a just under 4 more miles but that itty bitty distance became my nemesis.  It seemed like every time I set out to prepare, something happened that cut that opportunity short.  The latest battle was with my torn hamstring which cost me all last year.  Thanks to a heavy regiment of therapy my leg problems were mostly brought under control requiring continual training consideration, but finally strong enough to take the pounding.  It was also evident some other things had to change to get in front of the numerous other injuries.  I dropped 16 pounds (as of weigh in before the race) and retooled my body for the requirements of running (translated .. core, core core).  This year’s racing circuit was geared to preparing for the this day – The 4 mile Chase warmup, the 15K Steamboat and the Bix7 all went well so optimism was in the air.  Through all this was a steady diet of short and long runs (practically every other day including training runs on vacation) to get me prepared for the extra 4.  As the days started clicking off I hit my distance marks culminating in the final 12.6 mile training run last Sunday.  I can honestly say the way I felt after that run left me a little skeptical I could pull it off.

Hit the jump to read more about the event .. with pictures!

Continue reading Thirteen.One on the 10 Year Anniversary of 9/11