Saturday, September 30, 2006

September Statistics

I had hoped to run a little more in September, but life gets in the way.

Running: 147.7 Miles

Swimming: 3000 yards

Biking: ZIPPO!

Bring on October!

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Thursday Thoughts

Don't be shy people! Comment!

1. How long have you lived in your current dwelling?

2. What color are your bedroom walls?

3. What is your favorite decoration in your house?

4. What life goal have you accomplished in the past year?

5. What life goal do you plan on tackling next?

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Vacation Continued: San Jacinto State Park

I have more pictures to post, but they are on another computer.

Yeah, it's been about 3 weeks since we went on vacation and I didn't really say much about vacation, but there is one more adventure we had that I'd like to share.

If you remember, Dave and I had intended to go hiking up San Jacinto on our way out to Joshua Tree, but the tram was closed, so we didn't get to go. Later in the week we decided to try our luck again (this time calling before) and headed out to San Jacinto. This time the tram was open and with our coupon in hand, we embarked on our adventure.

Have I ever mentioned I have a fear of heights? Well, I do. And this was scary shizz! This 360 degree rotating tram starts at about 2500 feet and literally goes straight up the mountain to about 8000 feet in roughly ten minutes. After we got passed the first pole, I closed my eyes and waited until we got to the top. The pictures are curteous of Dave.

At the top tram station, Dave and I checked in with the park ranger and let them know that we were planning on hiking to the summit--6 miles to the top and 6 miles down. It was 1:00 in the afternoon. The ranger looked at us like we were crazy. We were wearing regular "street clothes" including tennis shoes and we were quickly informed that we probably didn't have time to hike to the top. Sure we don't look like hikers, but obviously this guy had no idea he was talking to real athletes.

Since I was a little worried about hiking to the top, we set out to make it about 4 miles to the lookout. Truthfully, I haven't really hiked before and this was proving to be tough. I was walking as fast as my little legs would take me, but the brisk walking, elevation, and the climb were causing me to have to stop often and catch my breath.

Roughly about 2 hours into the hike, we made it to the lookout. We were around 9700 feet.

Against my suggestions, we decided to keep going to the summit. Dave said he would give it one more hour and if we couldn't make it then we would turn around and start back towards the ranger station. We got up to the next station at the summit and lost the trail. We really wanted to make it to the summit as I guess there is a post there and we wanted to get our picture there, but we weren't sure how to do it. By making it to the ranger station at the top, we're claiming victory of obtaining the summit at 10,800 feet. We started our descent and I started to get cold. Really cold! My hands went numb and I was really lightheaded. I guess it was the elevation. The sun was starting to set, though, so we had to get moving.

We high-tailed it back down the mountain, walking so briskly it was almost a jog. By the time we reached the ranger station, it was early evening. We made the full hike in just under 5 hours. We rode the crowded tram back down the mountain and then drove the two hours back to the beach. Now, I'm not really into hiking, but that was a really cool experience.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Homestretch 20 Miler

My plan this weekend was to run 20 miles on Saturday at a slow pace. Problem was, when I woke up on Saturday it was storming and the weather was calling for rain and storms all day. I didn't want to be running in the rain for three hours. So, Dave and I decided to do the Homestretch 20 Miler race on Sunday with the intention of just using it as a training run.

That's never the case.

We say we're not going to race a race, but we always do. There's something about competition and being able to catch and pass people that makes racing racing and training is something different.

I started out conservatively. My first mile was 9:40 with the next couple miles just under 9:00, but then I started picking up speed. The miles started going down to 8:26, 8:25, 8:24. I even through in an 8:08 somewhere in there. The course wasn't a true out and back. It started down Cleveland Avenue to Sharon Woods Metro Park and went around their walking path, which is 3.8 miles. Then we headed to the Alum Creek Trail for the remainder of the race. The turn-around was approximately 12.75 miles into the race. It was at the turn-around that I noticed I wasn't too far behind Doug and Andrea. So I kept my consistent pace hoping to catch them. Dave was about a mile behind me at the turn-around. My miles continued to come down in time. I was now doing 8:15s pretty steadily. I missed the mile 16 marker, but around mile 17 is when I saw Andy and Andrea walking. I started running with Andrea for a little less than a mile and I went on ahead of her. I walked the mile 18 water stop. I was feeling really tired. Mile 19 was my fastest mile--8:04 uphill. And mile 20 felt like it would go on forever--8:40. I finished with 2:49:21 which is an 8:28 pace. I was 24th overall and 5th in my age group. Dave ran a 3:11:31 to finish 13th in his age group. Doug finished one minute ahead of me; Andrea finished one minute behind me; and Andy finished one minute ahead of Dave (I guess Andy is having achilles issues).

I know I wasn't planning on racing this, but I was a bit disappointed by my pace. An 8:28 won't even qualify me for Boston. My last three out of four marathons have been 3:39, 3:39, 3:40 and I really want to be running between 3:30 and 3:35. Now I know I didn't taper for this race. Heck, I didn't even decide to do it until 24 hours before, but how am I going to go at an 8:00 to 8:15 pace for 26 miles when I can't do it for 20 miles? I have four weeks to figure it out.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Do you Remember the Twenty-First Night of September--Thursday Thoughts

Today is Dave and my fourth wedding anniversary (thank you, thank you), so Thursday Thoughts is probably going to follow a theme.

For all the newbies out there...which probably isn't anyone...I ask 5 questions, you answer the questions in the comments section. It's fun, easy, and interactive. Let's get it on!

1. How many years have you been married? Or if you're single (Noj), how long was your longest relationship?

2. What was the best date you've ever had? Worst date (I think I've asked this one before)?

3. How were you proposed to? Or how did you propose? Or how would you like to propose?

4. If you were to get married again, would your wedding be the same? If no, how would it differ? Or if you're not married, how do you envision your wedding?

5. What's a memorable present you have received for an anniversary or wedding or whenever? What's the best present you've ever given?

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Flash Gordon

Last night Dad and I ran 8.25 miles with 5X600 at 7:00 mpm pace. That equates to 2:37 per 600. Of course, Dad and I couldn't figure out that math beforehand and we thought we needed to run 2:24s. So my 600s came out like this:


I was so mad that I was struggling to get 2:24. It wasn't until hours later that I realized, dude, I was fast!

Only about 4-1/2 weeks until the marathon.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Bits and Pieces

Lots o' little tidbits today.

How 'bout them Buckeyes?!

I followed Ironman Wisconsin on Sunday to track IronWil and TriSaraTops, and lo and behold I found my real-life friend and professional triathlete Joshua Ritchie competing in his first Ironman. Josh finished in like 10:54 and Sara finished in 15:30ish. I watched them both finish via the live web stream. Unfortunately, IronWil didn't make a cutoff and later dropped out. I think they're all winners for having the courage to start and to put themselves through all the training.

Yesterday I ran a really difficult 11 miles with 6 at half marathon pace in a brand new pair of shoes. Today, I'm exhausted. My half marathon splits should have been 7:50, but none of my miles were anywhere close to that. My splits were: 7:32, 7:31, 7:20, 7:19, 7:33, 7:09. The remaining 2-1/2 miles were a slow slug back to the car.

This weekend I'm heading to New Hampshire to compete in the Reach the Beach Relay. Anyone else going to be there? I'll be on Team Profile Deluxe and my team's start time is 2:00pm.

I have one more post scheduled about vacation. Hopefully I can get that done by tomorrow. Later, taters.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Thursday, September 07, 2006

It's Thursday

Yes, it's Thursday and that means Thursday Thoughts. But, I have been a little disappointed with the lack of response so I'm not sure I want to continue with it. So, let me know what you think. I'll ask the questions this week anyway.

1. What's your favorite book of all time?

2. What book are you reading right now?

3. How many siblings do you have and how many years apart are you?

4. What's the best lie you ever told?

5. What's one thing you'd like to change about yourself?

A few more things....Congratulations to my regular commenter and close friend Michelle. She and her husband just welcomed their second baby boy on Monday. In case you were wondering, because this is a blog about running, yes I am still running. I ran 10 miles of intervals on Monday, 4 miles of recovery on Tuesday, and yesterday I ran 12 miles with Dad and Andrea. I will be doing the Reach the Beach relay next weekend in New Hampshire. Happy Thursday, y'all.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Joshua Tree

Sorry, the vacation entires haven't been in a timely manner. But, since I know y'all are interested here's another adventure from our vacation.

The day after spending 25 hours awake and our flying fiasco, we decided to take a major driving trip from where we were saying out to the Palm Springs area. Dave thought he had found a pretty direct route on the map, so the route was our plan. We quickly found out that the direct route was over a mountain. Thank goodness we were driving a jeep. Two hours plus later we arrived in Palm Springs to take the Palm Springs tram up San Jacinto. Unfortunately, the tram was closed for maintenance, but we decided to come back later in the week to try again on the tram and for a hike.

We drove in Palm Springs and found a grocery store to get a flat of water for our journey out to Joshua Tree. We then ate lunch at a cute little Mexican restaurant. The food was good and so was the ambiance, but DAMN is it hot in Palm Springs. We then got back in the jeep and drove another to Joshua Tree.

Because we were only planning on going to Joshua Tree that day for a star gazing, we decided to stop into the visitor's center to get more information on where to go and what to see. The park rangers gave Dave a map and cicled some things and we were off. And, boy, is is DAMN hot at Joshua Tree.

We started off doing a little walk at Arch Rock Trail. The rock formations were really unique and unexpected. They looked like sandstone, but the rocks were actually lava.

Another unique thing we saw at Joshua Tree was Keys View. Being high atop the desert we were able to lookout and see all the way to Mexico, Palm Springs, and spectacular view of the San Andreas Fault.

After eating dinner at the Pizza Hut in the exciting town of Twenty-Nine Palms, we returned to Joshua Tree just as the sun was setting to take part in a star gazing party. The star gazing was amazing. I have never seen so many stars. In addition to many shooting stars, we saw several constellations, the space station, the Milky Way (amazing) and we got to look through a telescope and saw the Ring Nebula, the Whirlpool Nebula, and Jupiter and its moons. Here are some pictures of the rocks and trees as the sun was setting.

Finally, we drove the three hours (going around the mountain) back to the beach.