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

Might As Well Do It for a Medal

For far too many Sundays over the course of a year, my running friends (Ryan, Sung) and I pound the pavement in Springdale Cemetery.  Non-runners always seem a bit shocked when they learn a portion of my weekends are spent with the dead.  Springdale has been a friend for runners for a long time.  Their crumbled roads provide the perfect terrain for those of us who prefer the hill races.  One loop is a quarter marathon and includes three massive hills that will  make your lungs burn and your legs scream uncle.  This all started when we discovered two races that call this course their home.  The Screaming Pumpkin is no longer held (link here), but the IVS Half Marathon is still running strong – and by strong I mean still being held.  The participation has always been light, but that is likely due to how tough this course is.

IVs Half Marathon 2018, Springdale Cemetery

The IVS Half is a two loop adventure through the cemetery.  That adds up to 6 … count them .. 6 impressive hill traversals and that doesn’t include the smaller rolling hills that make up the rest of the course.    After spending so much time there training, we consider the cemetery our home course.  There isn’t a turn, pothole or uneven surface we haven’t committed to memory.  Figured since we run it so often, why not get a medal for it!

IVs Half Marathon 2018, Springdale Cemetery

Hit the jump to see how the race turned out!

Continue reading Might As Well Do It for a Medal

Is She Even Sweating?

Well, I’m just sitting here resting the legs because once again, the road is beckoning me.  Yes, it’s time for my fourth half marathon of the season and more importantly, the third since August 20th.  If you recall, the last post from me chronicled that endeavor.  If you happen to be good at math, you are probably thinking thumb 13.Wine, 2 ummm and index finger tomorrow’s run.  One thumb + one finger equals … wait a minute… wait a minute… use some new core math techniques and carry the pinky .. HEY, THAT’S ONLY TWO races and he just said it was THREE.  First off, congratulations on your STEM training.  You are correct, I am a race behind – shall we remedy that … of course.
IVS Half Marathon September 10th, 2017

Hit the jump to read about the race recap.

Continue reading Is She Even Sweating?

A Screaming Redemption

Screaming Pumpkin Race 2014

Greetings all!  I bet the doubters out there were all a buzz about it being soooo late in the month and the post count was stuck at FIVE.  No worries although for the record the amount of pictures and text in those five easily exceeded a standard month’s output.  I even told you the theme of this offering during the last.  Of course, those long time followers assuredly know that the end of October typically brings with it the last official race of the year.  Once again, I was able to field a team to compete in the Screaming Pumpkin Half Marathon Relay (link here).

Screaming Pumpkin Race 2014

Hit the jump to see more pictures and reveal how this race went for us!

Continue reading A Screaming Redemption

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

Missed It By That Much

Tomorrow is Halloween which makes tonight’s post a perfect fit.  Add to that the extra bonus of having the fourth phase of Project Auuuunoooold completed today taking a load of worry off leading to a relaxing night of watching the Cardinals… you have an ideal situation to get the last post of the month knocked out an entire day early (crowd goes wild, ticker tape flies, women tak…err better reel it in).  Just wanted to build up a little bit of excitement since this post actually has an element of disappointment to it.  Regulars to this site know that October usually brings the final running event of the year and this year was no different.  Last Friday the Screaming Pumpkin Marathon Relay took place and our team from last year – Zombies after Rhonda (link here) was in it to win it.  A quick summary for those that are not familiar with the particular nuances of this race.  It is a prediction race which means you have to determine the time it will take for each of your team’s four loops through the course.  That time is then subtracted from midnight to determine when you start the race.  Watches and other timing devices are not allowed while running and the first team finishing closest to midnight without going over is declared the winner.  Sounds simple right?  hope you responded with a resounding NO because that is the only acceptable answer to that question.

Most runners worry about their splits A LOT during a race…  and some like myself even fret about it during every training run.  There is one big advantage … we are usually wearing watches and/or other timing devices so if one split it slow or fast, you can immediately correct it on the next.  Without a watch you feel naked and vulnerable to bonks and over exertion.  Zombies after Rhonda is a three person team consisting of Rhonda, Ryan and Myself.  Thanks to the R’s, I get to close out my racing season with a half marathon to complete my now standard goal of two a year.  Did I mention it was a costume encouraged event?

Last year I went as a runner but Rhonda and Ryan went the extra mile and shamed me.  This year I “tried” to go in costume but had some difficulties at the start.  I did get my shirt made in time – I took the lead from Rhonda’s outfit “Zombies Don’t Like Fast Food” but added “Unless It’s Rhonda” to keep with our team’s theme.  Ryan showed up in a new costume this year – a head to toe skeleton which was just plain awesome!

This year we decided to start at 8:05pm based on the splits from Rhonda, Ryan and my plan to run a 56 minute loop followed by a 60 minute loop.  From the IVS Half Marathon Race earlier in the Season (link here), I knew there would be a drop off and based on the cold from last year assumed a about a 4 minute impact.  I added around a 3 minute pad due to the number of variables on the course (it is a tough hilly course and the actual surface is very choppy and potholed – difficult during light much less in the dead of night).

ARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR… just lost signal due to the rain on my satellite UNBELIEVABLE

Hit the jump to see how the race turns out

Continue reading Missed It By That Much

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

One Screaming October

I must admit, this was one of the scariest Octobers I have experienced in a long time.  If you recall from the last post (link here) , every day this month was packed with task after task trying to get everything done for the big party.  If you recall from that post (or looked at the comments) you might remember that there was a quick mention of an “event” I was training for.  That was a tad understated since the event was actually a half marathon… and it was scheduled for the DAY BEFORE THE PARTY.  Actually, check that… it was literally the NIGHT BEFORE THE PARTY.  I am not exactly sure what came over me when I decided to enter this race, but I had a Life List entry for this year to make it through 2 halfs sometime during the year.  As you know, I made it through the first one back in September (link here).    That didn’t leave a whole lot of time to get the second one in before the end of the year.  Originally the thought was to hit the Vegas Rock and Roll 1/2 in December, but then I stumbled on the Screaming Pumpkin Race.  First of all, it was at night which is my favorite time to race.  Second it was a course I was familiar with and the cherry .. it was Halloween themed.  You can’t go wrong with that can you?   ummm, actually you can if you forget about all the other things that had to get done around that time.

The main issue was getting time to keep the maintenance runs up.  I was already trained up for the half in September so it was really a matter of keeping the legs fresh and the endurance up.  My runs were cut down to three a week – if I could even get that many in – and the miles were backed down into the 7 to 9 range which made it sliiiightly easier to get in between tasks.  Unfortunately, sometime at the beginning of the month something bad happened … to the point I would have argued with any doctor that tried to convince me I didn’t give myself a hernia.  That was the last thing I needed.  I did make the training runs, but found myself going slower and slower at the splits.  CRAP!  The interesting thing is there was no visible sign so there was some optimism that it was just a nasty muscle pull.  As race day approached, I became so busy that I actually forgot about it and somehow it ended up feeling pretty good  – nothing like mind over matter – if someone could bottle that the medical industry would be devastated.

Hit the jump to read all about the event!

Continue reading One Screaming October

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